The Milwaukee Brewers bolstered their outfield depth Thursday via a trade.
The team announced on Twitter it acquired outfielder Rymer Liriano from the San Diego Padres in exchange for minor league pitcher Trevor Seidenberger. The Brewers designated outfielder Shane Peterson for assignment as well.
Chris Mitchell of FanGraphs noted the Padres recently designated Liriano for assignment to make room on the roster for Alexei Ramirez. Steve Adams of MLBTradeRumors.com pointed out Liriano underwent Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2013 campaign, although he did play for the Padres in 2014.
The outfield prospect appeared in 38 games at the major league level in 2014 and hit .220 with one home run, six RBI and four stolen bases. He flashed some speed on the basepaths and in the field, but he also struck out 39 times.
The lack of contact follows a scouting report Mitchell offered that said Liriano struck out in 24 percent of his at-bats in Triple-A last season and has suffered the same fate in more than 20 percent of his total plate appearances throughout his entire minor league career.
However, Mitchell also mentioned the outfielder's versatile tool set with power, speed and a strong arm and said “relatively few prospects have such a strong and diverse collection of skills. Furthermore, he’s parlayed those tools into some nice numbers in the high minors. He hit .291/.375/.466 with nearly 40 steals between Double-A and Triple-A in the past two seasons.”
Dayn Perry of CBS Sports added, “I’d definitely take a flyer [sic] on Rymer Liriano.”
As for Seidenberger, MLB.com did not rate him as one of Milwaukee’s top 30 prospects heading into 2015. According to MiLB.com, the southpaw posted a mediocre 4.07 ERA in 48.2 innings pitched of minor league ball in 2015. The 23-year-old is yet to pitch above the Double-A level and likely needs more seasoning before he is ready to contribute for a major league roster.
Liriano is the headliner in this trade, especially since he is only 24 years old. MLB.com rated the outfielder as the 13th-best prospect in San Diego’s system before the 2015 season even after the surgery that cost him 2013.
Liriano posted solid numbers in Triple-A in recent years and is a low-risk, high-reward addition for a Brewers team looking to rebuild in a daunting division over the course of the next few seasons.
If he finally delivers on his versatile skill set at the major league level, Liriano can develop into an everyday starter in the near future.