The Brewers announced they’ve signed corner infielder Renato Núñez to a minor league contract. He has been assigned to Triple-A Nashville.
Núñez just reached free agency when he was released by the Tigers last Friday. The 27-year-old had a pair of separate big league stints with Detroit this season, tallying 55 plate appearances and hitting .189/.218/.472 with four home runs. Núñez hit for power but struck out sixteen times while drawing just one walk in that fairly brief look. His past production hasn’t been quite so extreme, but that’s generally in line with his low-OBP, high-power offensive profile.
Between 2019-20, Núñez was a regular in the Orioles’ lineup, seeing time at designated hitter and both corner infield spots. He combined for a .247/.314/.469 line over those two seasons, popping a team-leading 43 homers along the way. But his low walk rates and lack of defensive acumen depressed his overall value, and the O’s let Núñez go over the winter rather than tender him an arbitration contract.
There’s no harm for Milwaukee in adding Núñez to the high minors for depth purposes. The Brewers have the lefty-hitting Rowdy Tellez and Daniel Vogelbach as their primary first base options, so Núñez’s right-handed bat could help balance that mix. As mentioned, he’s also capable of moonlighting at third, where Milwaukee is currently without starter Eduardo Escobar (although Luis Urías is a more than capable fill-in there).
Núñez joined the organization before September 1, so he’ll be eligible for the Brewers’ postseason roster if he earns a big league opportunity. If he’s not selected to the major league club before the end of the season, he’ll qualify for minor league free agency this winter.