According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Brewers have signed infielder Brooks Conrad to a minor league contract. He’ll compete for a utility infielder job during spring training.
Conrad, who turns 32 later this month, batted .223/.325/.388 with four home runs, 13 RBI and a .713 OPS over 122 plate appearances with the Braves last season. He functioned mostly as a right-handed bat off the bench, but also made five starts at second base and seven at the hot corner. He became a free agent after the Braves non-tendered him last month.
Conrad had a knack for some pretty big hits during his time with Atlanta, but also made some key fielding errors and owns an ugly 29 percent strikeout rate in the big leagues.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.