HomeMLB RumorsBrewers Claim Vladimir Gutierrez Off Waivers From Marlins

Brewers Claim Vladimir Gutierrez Off Waivers From Marlins

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The Brewers have claimed right-hander Vladimir Gutierrez off waivers from the Marlins, tweets Adam McCalvy of MLB.com. He’s been optioned to Triple-A Nashville. Miami designated Gutierrez for assignment earlier in the week.

Gutierrez, 28, was a high-profile prospect out of Cuba who signed for a $4.75MM bonus (plus a 100% tax on that sum) with the Reds back in 2016. He wound up pitching just 150 2/3 innings between 2021-22 in Cincinnati, logging a 5.44 ERA with worse-than-average strikeout and walk rates of 17.3% and 10.4%, respectively. As a prospect, he was touted as having a solid heater with a potentially plus slate of secondary offerings (curve, slider, changeup) — but he’s yet to find much consistency in the majors.

Were it not for a ligament tear that necessitated Tommy John surgery, Gutierrez might’ve gotten more of a look in Cincinnati. He briefly returned to throw a few minor league frames late last year but became a minor league free agent after the season and signed a minors contract in Miami. The Marlins selected him to the roster to add some length to an overworked bullpen but designated Gutierrez for assignment after he tossed three innings of long relief. The Fish needed to clear roster space for another fresh arm, lefty Kent Emanuel, who followed nearly the same track: three innings of long relief in his first appearance followed by an immediate DFA to bring in yet another fresh arm (Matt Andriese).

Francys Romero tweets that the Brewers plan to get Gutierrez two or three starts down in Nashville to further stretch him out. At that point, they’ll consider him for starts at the big league level. Milwaukee’s rotation is more unsettled than at any point in recent memory, as Brandon Woodruff required September shoulder surgery that’ll cost him most of the 2024 season and Corbin Burnes was traded to the Orioles in a late-offseason blockbuster. Veteran Wade Miley, who returned on a one-year deal, has been slowed by a shoulder impingement. Prospect Robert Gasser, arguably the top minor league arm in the system, is currently on the injured list due to a bone spur in his elbow.

At the moment, the Brewers are going with Freddy Peralta, Jakob Junis, Colin Rea, DL Hall (acquired in the Burnes trade) and Joe Ross in a patchwork rotation. The return of Miley will help solidify things for the Brew Crew, but Gutierrez will give them another option with some MLB experience who could potentially work his way into the rotation mix.

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