There’s no official word yet on who the Brewers will bump from the starting rotation to make room for Kyle Lohse, but Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that it’s expected to be right-hander Mike Fiers.
That speaks pretty highly of the Brewers’ rotation depth because Fiers was damn good as a 27-year-old rookie last season, starting 22 games with a 3.74 ERA and 135/36 K/BB ratio in 128 innings. On a lot of teams that would make him one of the top 2-3 starters, but on the Brewers it likely means a trip to the bullpen to make room a guy who wasn’t even signed a week ago.
Milwaukee will apparently turn to 23-year-old prospect Wily Peralta to fill out the rotation behind Yovani Gallardo, Lohse, Marco Estrada, and Chris Narveson. He mostly struggled at Triple-A last season, but Peralta pitched well in a 29-inning Brewers debut and rates as the 69th-best prospect in MLB by Baseball America.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.