The Rays traded Mike Brosseau to Milwaukee on Sunday.

With the roster crunch looming, thanks to the November 19th deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, the Tampa Bay Rays dealt infielder Mike Brosseau to the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league relief pitcher Evan Reifert. They also dealt right-handed reliever Louis Head to the Miami the Marlins for a player to be named later or cash considerations. The Rays 40-man roster now includes 38 players.

Brosseau was one of many multi-positional players that made his way through Tampa Bay’s farm system. He was an undrafted free agent who rose through the ranks and appeared in 143 games over the last three seasons. Brosseau slashed .284 BA/.343 OBP/.500 SLG/.843 with 11 home runs across 240 plate appearances from 2019-20. Because of it, he appeared to be on the verge of becoming a regular in the Rays’ infield mix before scuffling in 2021.

Brosseau never seemed to get on track though, and found himself frequently shuttled back and forth between St. Petersburg and Triple-A Durham. Overall, Brosseau hit just .187 BA/.266 OBP/.347 SLG/.613 OPS over 169 PA for the Rays in ’21. Because of it, Brosseau became an expendable piece for a Tampa Bay ballclub that already boasts deep infield depth.

Reifert was a 30th-round pick for the Rangers in 2018, although he opted to attend college rather than begin his pro career at that stage. Instead, he signed with Milwaukee in 2020, as Reifert wasn’t selected in the shortened five-round 2020 draft.

The 22-year-old Reifert does not need to be protected for a few seasons, and the Rays were impressed by his first professional season in which he went 3-3 with a 2.10 ERA and 103 strikeouts (15.45 K/9 IP) in 37 relief appearances between Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin in 2021.

Reifert was named the Brewers Minor League Pitcher of the Month for August when he boasted a 2.51 ERA with 24 strikeouts across 14.1 innings of work. The right-hander also culled an impressive 40.23% strikeout rate over 60 combined relief innings with the Brewers’ high-A and A-ball affiliates.  Those missed bats came with some shaky control, however, as His high punchout numbers also came with a concerning 14.06% walk rate.

If the Rays can improve the command on his upper 90’s fastball, the team will have yet another hard-throwing bullpen weapon at their disposal in a season or two.

Meanwhile, Head, 31, made his big league debut in ’21 after signing a minor league deal in the off-season. Prior to that, the right-hander sold solar panels while looking for a new opportunity in baseball.

Head traveled between St. Pete and Durham a total of 12 times, and he went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA over 27 appearances and 35 innings. Head allowed 21 hits and nine walks while striking out 32 in largely low leverage appearances.

As of now, Tampa Bay has not moved any players that were on the team’s postseason roster, aside from those that became free agents at the end of the season.

On the 19th the Rays have to add players to the 40-man roster or risk having them selected by another club in the Rule 5 draft.

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