The Brewers swung a trade with the Indians on Tuesday to keep Rule 5 pick Chuck Lofgren from returning to Cleveland.
In return for Lofgren’s rights the Brewers gave the Indians right-hander Omar Aguilar, a 25-year-old reliever who slipped back a level during a poor 2009 season. Lofgren, meanwhile, was assigned to Milwaukee’s Triple-A Nashville affiliate and will report to Minor League camp beginning Wednesday.
Lofgren, a left-hander was one of 17 players selected during the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft in December. The Brewers paid $50,000 for the claim, and per Draft rules they would have had to keep Lofgren on the 25-man roster all season or offer him back to Cleveland for half of the original price.
The Brewers began the process of offering him back late last week by exposing Lofgren to waivers. Once he cleared, the Brewers and Indians had 72 hours, according to Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin, to work out a trade. Had those efforts came up empty, Cleveland would have been forced to decide whether to take Lofgren back for $25,000 or simply let the Brewers keep him.
Lofgren, 24, is only two years removed from being one of the Indians’ top pitching prospects. He went 9-11 with a 4.15 ERA in 25 starts between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus last season and Cleveland opted not to protect him on the 40-man roster.
He has not allowed a run in four Cactus League appearances for the Brewers.