The Milwaukee Brewers have signed third baseman Will Middlebrooks to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. The Brewers confirmed the agreement with Middlebrooks just a little bit later on Tuesday.
The Brewers need another third baseman on the team, so Middlebrooks has a good shot of making the Opening Day roster. He will competed with Garin Cecchini, a former Boston Red Sox prospect, for the job.
It was reported by Rob Bradford of WEEI that Middlebrooks had 10 teams interested just 10 days prior to signing with the Brewers. The 27-year-old believes that he will have his best chance of getting a starting spot or good utility time with Milwaukee over all the other teams that were originally interested.
Middlebrooks was signed by the Red Sox in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He signed with the team for $925,000 out of high school and made his debut with Boston two years later on May 2, 2012 against the Oakland Athletics, which he went 2-for-3 with a stolen base.
Following a World Series title in 2013, Middlebrooks struggled after missing 19 games in April of 2014 with a strained calf. Just a month later, he went out with a broken finger. Middlebrooks was traded to the San Diego Padres for Ryan Hanigan during the 2014-15 offseason.
Over 83 games for San Diego in 2015, Middlebrooks slashed .212/.241/.361 with nine home runs and 29 RBI across 255 at-bats. The Padres sent Middlebrooks down to the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas late in the season.
On December 2, 2015, Middlebrooks was non-tendered by San Diego, which made him a free agent.
The right-handed hitter is an athlete on the defensive end. He can hit for power, but struggles a little with his contact skills because Middlebrooks is not that patient at the dish. The third baseman has a good arm and is regarded as above-par on the base paths.