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It wasn’t a blockbuster-caliber offseason challenge trade that typically sends shockwaves throughout the baseball landscape, but the Brewers augmented their position player depth on Saturday evening, acquiring versatile power-hitting infielder Mike Brosseau from the Rays in exchange for right-handed relief prospect Evan Reifert. Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns told reporters that Brosseau had been on the team’s radar during previous trade discussions with the Rays and cited his defensive versatility and past playoff contributions -- most notably a go-ahead home run off Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman in Game 5 of the ALDS back in 20202 -- as the driving forces behind the acquisition. The 27-year-old corner infielder struggled in the majors last season, hitting just .187/.266/.347 with five home runs and a pair of steals in 169 plate appearances, but adds to the Brewers position player depth and gives them a quality right-handed power bat off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Rays found themselves facing a serious roster crunch in the coming days as Brosseau was virtually guaranteed to be jettisoned from the team’s 40-man roster to make room for several highly-regarded prospects that the organization would like to protect from the Rule 5 Draft this offseason. They managed to land an extremely intriguing relief prospect in Reifert, who recorded a pristine 2.10 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 103/36 K/BB ratio across 60 innings (37 relief appearances) between Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin in the Brewers' system last season. The 22-year-old righty projects as a versatile multi-inning reliever in the future. This wasn’t the type of trade that columnists will cite in the midst of a future playoff series, but it has the potential to improve both franchises on the margins moving forward.
AFL Fall Stars Game Roundup
Marlins outfield prospect JJ Bleday went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and three RBI on Saturday evening, leading the East Division to a 6-5 victory in the Arizona Fall League's annual Fall Stars Game. The 24-year-old, who was selected fourth overall by the Marlins back in the 2019 MLB Draft, clobbered a game-tying two-run blast to right-center field off righty Coleman Crow in the opening frame and also delivered an RBI single in the fifth inning. He's been sizzling hot this fall, slashing .329/.447/.600 with five homers and 24 RBI in 21 games.
The East Division also got contributions from Giants outfield prospect Hunter Bishop, who tattooed a 412-foot solo homer in the fourth inning, and Mets third base prospect Brett Baty, who wound up registering only one hit, but recorded three batted balls with stratospheric exit velocities in excess of 100 mph in the exhibition showcase.
Cardinals first base prospect Juan Yepez was one of the few standouts for the West Division squad, picking up an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the opening frame before walloping a pair of doubles which registered exit velocities of 99.3 and 95.4 mph, respectively. It doesn't seem like the hard-hitting 23-year-old slugger, who exploded onto fantasy managers' radar screens after launching 27 round-trippers in 111 games between Double-A Springfield and Triple-A Memphis this season, is too far off from making some serious noise in the majors.
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Judge Interested In Extension With Yankees
Aaron Judge said in an interview on Thursday afternoon that he wants to finish his career with the Yankees. "If it were up to me, I'd be a Yankee for the next 10 years, for sure," Judge added. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said earlier this week that he hasn't met with Judge's representatives regarding a potential extension yet. The 29-year-old outfielder, who was awarded his second career Silver Slugger Award earlier this week, is entering his final year of salary arbitration and slated to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2022 season. The upcoming expiration of the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement complicates long-term extension talks between the two sides, but it's clear that Judge wants to remain in New York beyond next season.
MLB Quick Hits: Rockies re-signed RHP Jhoulys Chacín to a one-year, $1.25 million contract … Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported that the Astros recently met with free agent outfielder Starling Marte's representatives. Meanwhile, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that the Marlins recently made a contract offer to reunite with Marte … Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals remain in negotiations to re-sign free agent right-hander Luis Garcia … Diamondbacks re-signed RHP Chris Devenski to a minor-league contract … Angels re-signed RHP Gerardo Reyes to a minor-league contract.