Back in 2006 the Brewers drafted Georgia high school shortstop Brent Brewer in the second round, but after hitting just .240 with a .650 OPS in 427 minor-league games he’s decided to quit baseball … and play football at the University of Tennessee.
Brewer was a highly recruited football player coming out of high school and originally committed to play for Florida State before opting for a $600,000 bonus from the Brewers. Now he’s headed to Tennessee as a 22-year-old freshman and 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety. Here’s what he told Volquest.com:
It had always been in the back of my mind, I’d always kind of wonder how things might have worked out for me in football. I know it’s going to be hard and I’m sure I’ll have some rust, but I’m ready to come in and work hard and get into it. I’m really excited to have this chance and I’m going to make the most of it.
Brewer certainly isn’t the first player to give baseball an unsuccessful try before heading back to football, but his timetable for doing so was a lot quicker than most. He essentially played three full seasons, plus a half-year in rookie-ball after signing and one-third of a season this year before calling it quits. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because Brewer looked nothing like a future major leaguer, but for a $600,000 investment it seems like Milwaukee deserved more than 427 games before he switched sports.
Of course, maybe I’m just upset because now there’s zero chance of a game named Brewer playing for the Brewers.
Free agent right-hander Tim Lincecum isn’t ready to hang up his cleats just yet. At least, that’s the word from Lincecum’s agent, Rick Thurman, who says the 32-year-old is still “throwing and getting ready for the season” (via Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News).
Lincecum may not be ready to enter retirement, but another quote from Thurman suggests that he’ll be picky about where he pitches next. He doesn’t appear open to pitching overseas, and despite not having a contract for 2017 (or even any serious suitors), the right-hander is set on pitching in the big leagues this year. Whether or not he’s willing to take a bullpen role to do so remains to be seen.
While Baggarly predicts some interest in the veteran righty, there’s not much in Lincecum’s recent history to inspire faith in him as a starter, or even a reliever. He picked up a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Angels following his hip surgery in 2015, and went 2-6 in 2016 with a 9.16 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 over 38 1/3 innings. At this point, a minor league contract seems like the surest path back to major league success, though he’s unlikely to find an open spot on the Giants’ or Angels’ rosters anytime soon.
Free agent right-hander Jeff Manship has reportedly signed with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The righty was non-tendered by the Indians in December.
Manship, 32, completed his second season with Cleveland in 2016. He delivered a 3.12 ERA, 4.6 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 rate over 43 1/3 innings, a slight decline after posting an 0.92 ERA with the club the year before. During eight years in the major leagues, Manship carries a 4.82 career ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 in multiple stints with the Twins, Rockies, Phillies and Indians.
The right-hander will be joined by fellow MLB transplants Eric Hacker and Xavier Scruggs, each of whom took one-year deals with the Dinos last month. Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors notes that each KBO team is allowed up to three foreign players, so Manship will round out the trio when he joins the roster. Any salary terms have yet to be disclosed.