The Milwaukee Brewers, also known as the St. Louis Cardinals’ top division rival, signed a pair of intriguing players at relatively no risk on Thursday.
Who says you can’t sign players during a lockout?
Well, you can’t sign players to major-league contracts. But you can sign them to minor-league deals that include invitations to spring training – and that’s exactly what a St. Louis Cardinals division rival did.
On Thursday, the Milwaukee Brewers announced that they have signed first baseman Jonathan Singleton and outfielder Garrett Whitley to minor-league deals with spring invites. Additionally, they are in agreement on a deal to sign first baseman Tyler White to a minor-league deal with a spring invite, Robert Murray of FanSided reported.
Singleton, 30, is perhaps the most interesting player listed above. He was formerly a top Houston Astros prospect and signed a five-year, $10 million extension before he played a major-league game. He has always had talent, hence why he’s continuing to get opportunities at this stage of his career, despite hitting only .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in 114 career major-league games.
Whitley, 24, was the 13th overall pick by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2015. Like Singleton, he never put it together, and was let go by the Rays earlier this offseason. He split time with Double and Triple-A this past season, hitting .229 with 13 homers, 35 RBI and a .782 OPS in 88 games. He won’t start in the Brewers outfield – they have Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain and Hunter Renfroe – but he could work his way into the No. 4 outfielder spot with a strong spring training.
White, 31, spent four seasons with the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. He has less upside than the two players above, but he presents more of a proven track record in the majors – .236/.315/.409 with 26 homers in 256 career games – and could be their No. 2 first baseman behind Rowdy Tellez by Opening Day.
These are the types of moves the St. Louis Cardinals are likely to make – and come at no risk and present a decent amount of upside. We have not had any of their moves trickle out yet, but considering the rate they are being announced on Thursday, it may not be far behind.