Free agent infielder Brett Lawrie is returning to the professional baseball circuit on a minor league contract with the Brewers, per an Instagram announcement on Saturday. While the signing has yet to be formally announced, Robert Murray of The Athletic says the deal comes with a club option for 2020 and includes a potential $1 million salary if he makes the big-league roster, which could then reach a ceiling of $7 million with performance bonuses and escalators.
Lawrie broke the news of his own signing in a lengthy post on social media:
View this post on Instagram
Life has been a little weird for me this past couple years. To be honest it’s been lonely. I worked my whole life to achieve my dreams. I’ve shared a locker room with 25+ men ever since I’ve been 19 years old & I blinked and it all disappeared. I’ve put more effort into finding the people I thought knew what was best for me than any of you could understand . It wasn’t until about a week & a half ago I received a call from my agent & shortly into that call I got word that something could be “Brewing”. Yesterday I got the best news of my life & I am beyond excited to share with you that I am signing with the “Milwaukee Brewers”. Im so ecstatic for this opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot thank the Brewers enough for believing in ME when no 1 else would. Remember …. “ You, Me or Nobody is gonna hit as hard as LIFE” – R.B
The 29-year-old second/third baseman has not set foot in the majors since 2016. After enjoying some of the best years of his career in Toronto, he played back-to-back gigs with the Athletics and White Sox in 2015-16 and spent his last MLB season batting .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs, seven stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .723 OPS through 384 PA in Chicago. While he garnered some interest from teams after getting released by the White Sox in the spring of 2017, lingering lower-body discomfort complicated his attempts to secure another contract and effectively kept him off the field and out of a job.
It’s not yet clear whether the Brewers envision Lawrie in a starting role for the 2019 season, though any thought of him displacing Travis Shaw at the hot corner seems ludicrous at this point. Barring any spring training disasters, however, he might still find himself in a backup role to Cory Spangenberg and Hernán Pérez at the keystone.