A day after the Milwaukee Brewers traded outfielder Hunter Renfroe to the Los Angeles Angels for three pitchers, the Crew signed outfielder Blake Perkins to a one-year big-league deal.
Although Renfroe was one of the Brewers’ best bats this past season, the decision to trade him was not all that surprising, given that he is projected to make $11 million in 2023, which is out of the Crew’s price range, and that Milwaukee is loaded with a lot of young outfield talent at the Triple-A level.
However, the Brewers’ decision to add Perkins to the mix is a bit of a surprise, especially to a major league contract.
Perkins is yet to make his big league debut after being a second-round pick by Washington in 2015. He has also spent time in the Kansas City and, most recently, New York Yankees’ organizations.
He spent the 2022 season at both the Double-A and Triple-A levels, slashing .246/.357.456 with 15 home runs and 21 extra-base hits. Perkins posted a strikeout rate of 23% and an impressive walk rate of 13% as well–something we know the Brewers value.
Defensively, Perkins has the ability to play all three outfield positions. He also has three big league options remaining — a very Brewers-type of signing — so if he doesn’t make the 26-man roster out of spring training, Milwaukee still has the ability to send him to Triple-A.
As already alluded to, it’s going to be a crowded outfield in Milwaukee, although at least during the David Stearns era, having a number of options at one position group was never a deterrent for him. Matt Arnold appears to be taking a similar approach.
Joining Perkins on the 40-man roster are Christian Yelich, Garrett Mitchell, Esteury Ruiz, and Tyrone Taylor. Then in the minors, the Brewers have Sal Frelick and Joey Wiemer–both of whom could make their major league debuts in 2023.
If Perkins had at-bats at the big league level, this move would make more sense with the Brewers trying to add experience to this position group. However, that isn’t the case. Perhaps he is going to end up being added depth for the Nashville Sounds instead, despite originally being signed to the majors.
It’s difficult at this time to see where Perkins fits in with the Brewers, but oftentimes, these things have a way of working themselves out.