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Brewers considering moving Ryan Braun back to left field

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Ryan Braun was the Brewers’ regular left fielder from 2008-2013 before making the move to right field two years ago. The decision was made in order to give regular playing time to slugger Khris Davis, who didn’t have a strong enough arm to play right. That’s not an issue now that Davis has been traded to the Athletics, so Brewers general manager David Stearns told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that the club is considering whether to move Braun back to left while installing Domingo Santana in right field.

“That could be a possibility,” general manager David Stearns said Monday. “We’re still discussing our various options.”

Santana primarily played center field after being acquired from the Astros in the Carlos Gomez deal last July, but he’s best-suited for a corner spot. This is a very different situation than what the Brewers had with Davis, as Santana has the arm (and then some) for right field. Braun is coming off back surgery, so the thought is that a move back to left field could take less of a toll on his body. Stearns and manager Craig Counsell are expected to talk over the situation with Braun before an official decision is made, but it sounds like a win-win.

The real drama in the Brewers’ outfield revolves around who will end up playing center. Rymer Liriano, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Keon Broxton, and Eric Young, Jr. are among the names in the mix as spring training approaches.

Padres release Phil Hughes

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The Padres have released right-hander Phil Hughes. He was recently designated for assignment.

Hughes was traded from the Twins to the Padres at the end of May in a deal that was, essentially, the Padres acquiring a Competitive Balance pick and agreeing to pick up half of Hughes outstanding salary, which is $13.2 million in 2019. The Padres used him for 16 relief appearances but he was terrible, posting a 6.10 ERA.

The 32-year-old is a 12-year veteran. Given that he’ll basically be free to anyone who wants him, it’s not unreasonable to think he’ll get a non-roster invite to someone’s spring training next year, but it could very well be the end for him as well.