Milwaukee made its first trade of the off-season by sending frequent flier Burke Badenhop to Boston for minor league left-hander Luis Ortega November 22.
Badenhop was acquired from Tampa Bay following the 2012 season for minor leaguer Raul Mondesi, Jr. Mondesi was shelved the entire 2013 season with a leg injury.
The major league pitcher accumulated 62.1 innings pitched striking out 42 and walked 12 for the Brewers in 2013.
Ortega, 20, could begin the 2014 season with the Arizona League Brewers after spending his 2013 season with the Gulf Coast Red Sox compiling a 3-3 record with 2.45 ERA in 36.2 innings.
The left-hander pitched out of the bullpen in 2013 after beginning his career with the Dominican Summer League Red Sox in 2012 where he started 13 games.
In his initial season, he accumulated 59.1 innings pitched with a 6-3 record for the Summer League team.
Observers note Ortega should not be considered a top prospect and is a long shot to reach the Major Leagues.
However, he should be a solid pitcher in the lower levels of the Brewers’ minor league system for the immediate future.
In addition, the jury is still out on Ortega given his one full year of experience pitching in the United States. The young pitcher was signed as an International free agent by Boston in 2011.
So long Sanchez
Jesus Sanchez is one of the first minor league free agents of the Brewers to sign elsewhere after agreeing with the Miami Marlins.
Sanchez, 26, was ranked as high as 21st within the Brewers organization by Baseball America entering the 2013 season.
It will be Sanchez’s fourth professional organization after starting his career as a catcher with the New York Yankees in 2005.
The relief pitcher compiled a career high 11 saves with Double A Huntsville in 2012 and walked just 13 batters in 45.1 innings for the Stars.
Following the promotion of Pacific Coast League All-Star Robert Wooten to Milwaukee in 2013, Sanchez stepped in as the Nashville closer notching seven saves for the Sounds.
Sanchez established himself as a pitcher with excellent strikeout-walk ratios through his time in the minor leagues with a career 384 strikeouts compared to 163 walks in 507 innings.