photo © 2008 Mike Tigas | more info (via: Wylio)
Continuing their search for anyone who could possibly challenge Carlos Gomez in centerfield, the Brewers signed Jeremy Reed to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. Reed is best known for spending parts of five seasons with the Mariners from 2004 to 2008, but hasn’t been much better than replacement level since being worth 2.2 Wins Above Replacement (according to Fangraphs) in 2005.
Reed has never been able to hit all that well, putting up a career line of .253/.311/.356 in 1369 big league plate appearances. You’re not going to get any power from him (career ISO of .102), and he’s not going to draw many walks (career BB% of 7.3%). What you are going to get is a guy who “hits” left-handed and plays good defense in center, with a career UZR there of 13.0 and coming in at 17 runs above average in Defensive Runs Saved.
Come to think of it, would I really be all that out of line if I said Reed is a left-handed Gomez?
Needless to say, this is an underwhelming move, but maybe we’re all just a little disappointed that Nick Punto wound up going to St. Louis for just $700k, when he could have been a better option at shortstop than Yuniesky Betancourt. I wouldn’t expect Reed to be much more than organizational filler — a guy to play CF in Nashville until someone like Logan Schafer or Caleb Gindl is ready to take over, or there’s an injury on the big league roster.
Really, there’s no reason for Reed to make the 25-man roster out of spring training. Chris Dickerson is a vastly superior option as a left-handed hitting centerfielder, and Brandon Boggs is a switch hitter. I can understand wanting to push Gomez with a little more competition, but Reed shouldn’t be taking away spring at-bats from anybody in the Brewers’ system.