Brewers ready to add Tavarez
Veteran reliever will provide depth to Milwaukee bullpen
WASHINGTON -- Looking for an experienced arm in the bullpen, the Brewers are on the verge of adding former Red Sox reliever Julian Tavarez to their roster.
Tavarez worked out for team officials on Sunday in Washington. He will return to Milwaukee with the team following Monday afternoon's game, and he will be given a physical at that time. If he passes, and general manager Doug Melvin said there is no reason to expect otherwise, the team plans on adding him to the 40-man roster and activating him for Tuesday's game against the Braves.
Milwaukee would be the eighth team Tavarez has pitched for in a career that began in 1993. The 35-year-old threw nine games for Boston this season before being released.
"May 11 was the last time he pitched for the Red Sox, but he's been throwing since," Melvin said.
The move would give depth to a bullpen that has dealt with injuries to David Riske and Eric Gagne in recent weeks. Three pitchers were called up from Triple-A Nashville in the last week alone, though a player will have to be sent down when the Tavarez signing is made official.
"The younger guys have done a good job, but this adds depth," Melvin said. "He's here to add experience."
Tavarez would be paid the Major League minimum salary for a veteran player, prorated to the amount of time remaining in the season.
The Milwaukee bullpen needs again were evident in a 7-6 loss to the Nationals on Sunday. Guillermo Mota was throwing his fourth inning of relief in two days when he made a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth that allowed the winning run to score.
If Tavarez joins the team, he has the arm strength to be used as a long reliever or in shorter situations. Currently, Salomon Torres has been used in the closer role while Gagne is on the disabled list. Melvin said Tavarez could be used in a number of roles.
"He's versatile," the general manager said. "He's a ground-ball guy, not a strikeout guy."
Michael Phillips is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.