Brewers acquire Guerra from Rays as part of bullpen makeover

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers acquired right-hander Javy Guerra from the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday as part of a series of moves that reshape their bullpen.

In other transactions announced Friday night, the Brewers non-tendered right-handers Trevor Gott, Jandel Gustave and Luis Perdomo. Earlier in the day, the Colorado Rockies claimed left-hander Brent Suter off waivers from Milwaukee.

Tampa Bay designated Guerra for assignment earlier in the week. The Brewers acquired him for a player to be named.

Guerra, 27, is a former infielder who went 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 17 games for Tampa Bay this season. He struck out nine and walked eight in 16 innings.

“He’s a guy you bring into your mix with an upper-90s (mph) fastball who has a chance to pitch in the back end of games,” Brewers president of baseball operations Matt Arnold said.

Suter had pitched for the Brewers since 2016 and was their longest-tenured player. He went 5-3 with a 3.78 ERA in 54 appearances this season.

The 33-year-old Suter was the Brewers’ 2022 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given to a player who best represents baseball through character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field. It was the third time the Brewers had nominated him for the award.

“Incredibly thankful for what he was able to provide to this team, our clubhouse, our community – just above and beyond what you could ever ask,” Arnold said. “Probably the best teammate I’ve ever been around since I’ve been in the game.”

Gott was 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA over 45 games in 2022. Gustave was 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in 27 games. Perdomo went 3-0 with a 3.80 ERA in 14 appearances.

The Brewers already had declined a $3 million team option on reliever Brad Boxberger last week. Boxberger went 4-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 70 appearances this season.

“We’re aware of what has gone out the door (in the bullpen),” Arnold said. “I will say just because you’ve non-tendered these guys doesn’t mean they’ve gone away completely.”

The Brewers also avoided going to arbitration with right-handers Matt Bush and Adrian Houser by agreeing to one-year-deals with both. Houser gets $3.6 million and Bush $1.85 million

Bush was 0-2 with a 4.30 ERA in 25 games for the Brewers after they acquired him from Texas, where he went 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 40 appearances. Houser, part of the Brewers’ starting rotation, was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA in 2022 after going 10-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2021.

Phillies, RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly agree to 4-year deal

Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO – The active Philadelphia Phillies added Taijuan Walker to their rotation on Tuesday, agreeing to a $72 million, four-year contract with the right-hander.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

It was the second major free-agent score for the Phillies at the winter meetings after they reeled in shortstop Trea Turner on Monday with a $300 million, 11-year deal. Walker and Turner join a Phillies team that made it to the World Series this year before losing to the Houston Astros.

The 30-year-old Walker went 12-5 with a 3.49 ERA in 29 starts this season for the New York Mets, one of Philadelphia’s biggest NL East rivals. He slots into a rotation fronted by Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola.

The Phillies recently lost pitcher Zach Eflin in free agency to Tampa Bay.

Asked about the market for Walker earlier in the day, agent Scott Boras said it was robust.

“As you can see in the marketplace, there’s a whole number of pitchers that are throwing 60 and 70 innings that have been pursued, probably with the exception of (Jacob) deGrom, at the lower end of threshold around $13-15 million a year because the demand for quality pitching is so great,” Boras said.

“So, Tai … is one of the younger ones, one of the more durable ones and we expect him to be pursued greatly as his market unfolds.”

Walker was selected by Seattle with the No. 43 pick in the 2010 amateur draft. He made his big league debut with the Mariners in 2013.

Walker signed with New York as a free agent in February 2021. He turned down a $7.5 million player option last month in favor of a $3 million buyout, making his deal worth $17 million over two seasons.

The 6-foot-4 Walker made the All-Star team for the first time in 2021, putting together a fast start before fading to a 7-11 record with a 4.47 ERA in 30 games, 29 starts.