The Royals announced they have signed right-handed reliever Colten Brewer to a minor league deal. Teams can still sign players that did not end the season on the 40-man roster to minor league contracts during the transaction freeze.
The 29-year old has pitched in parts of four big league seasons with the Padres and Red Sox with a 5.04 ERA and 8.7 strikeouts-per-nine innings in 91 career innings. Last year he pitched just one inning in the big leagues, and spent 18 innings in Triple-A with a 4.00 ERA for Worcester. Brewer is a fastball-slider pitcher, with a heater that runs 94-96 mph. He has struggled with walks at the big league level, with 5.7 walks-per-nine innings.
Brewer was originally a fourth-round pick by the Pirates in 2011 out of Canton High School in Texas. The Yankees selected him in the 2016 minor league Rule 5 draft, but let him after one year. He signed on with the Padres and increased his strikeout rate in the minors, earning his first cup of coffee in the big leagues. The Padres were facing a 40-man roster crunch and traded him to the Red Sox in 2018 for Esteban Quiroz.
Brewer will likely serve as bullpen depth in Omaha, with a chance to make the big league team at some point. Earlier this off-season the Royals signed reliever Arodys Vizcaino to a minor league deal, and those two will compete for a spot in a bullpen that could feature a combination of Josh Staumont, Scott Barlow, Jake Brentz, Ronald Bolaños, Taylor Clarke, Joel Payamps, Dylan Coleman, Domingo Tapia, Tyler Zuber, and Gabe Speier, among others.