Trade coming? Brewers activate Jonathan Lucroy, designate George Kottaras for assignment

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In making room for starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy’s return from the disabled list the Brewers designated backup catcher George Kottaras for assignment.

That means Milwaukee has decided to stick with Martin Maldonado as Lucroy’s new backup, but it’s unlikely that they’d be willing to simply let Kottaras go for nothing via waivers. Instead, expect the Brewers to trade him before Tuesday’s deadline, in which case designating him for assignment simply removes Kottaras from the 40-man roster in the meantime.

Officially they have 10 days to trade, waive, or release Kottaras, but since the trade deadline is only five days away the DFA likely won’t impact anything.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.