The Milwaukee Brewers may have spent very little in free agency so far this offseason, but they continue to be active in the trade market–and once again doing so with Seattle.
The most recent move from Matt Arnold involves the Brewers sending pitcher Justin Topa to the Seattle Mariners for prospect Joseph Hernandez, who is also a pitcher.
The 32-year-old Topa made his big league debut with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2020, coming out of the bullpen. He impressed in his limited action that season, allowing just two earned runs in 7.2 innings with 12 strikeouts and no walks.
Unfortunately, injuries have been a part of Topa’s career since then, with him appearing in only 11 games between the 2021 and 2022 seasons. On top of that, the Brewers have added to their bullpen this offseason and will likely continue to do so, making it difficult for Topa to carve out a role on this team in 2023.
What to know about the Milwaukee Brewers’ newest pitcher, Joseph Hernandez
The right-handed Hernandez, meanwhile, spent the 2022 season with the Mariners’ Single-A affiliate. He stands 5’11” and weighs 150 pounds.
Hernandez threw 116.2 innings and posted a 3.39 ERA. Hernandez would strike out 143 batters, he walked 54, and gave up just 10 home runs. From the Brewers via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Hernandez was the California League Pitcher of the Year in 2022, leading the league in ERA and strikeouts.
The 22-year-old was the 13th-ranked prospect in the Mariners organization, according to Fangraphs. His best pitch by grade is his slider, which Eric Longenhagen called “death to right-handed hitters.” He also added that Hernandez’s fastball was in the low-90s during the Spring of 2022.
With Topa heading to Seattle, the Milwaukee Brewers now have an opening on their 40-man roster, which will presumably go to Wade Miley, who they are reportedly signing to a one-year deal.