Brewers officials are scheduled to meet Monday morning to discuss roster decisions, including a handful of players in camp who can elect free agency this week if they are not added to the 40-man roster.
The list of players with such “out” dates includes outfielder Jim Edmonds, catcher Matt Treanor and left-hander Scott Schoeneweis. Edmonds’ and Schoeneweis’ date is Thursday, when the Brewers return from their only Spring Training off-day to play the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz. Treanor was not sure of his precise date and general manager Doug Melvin said he preferred not to disclose it.
The clauses mean that the Brewers could have some decisions to make. Edmonds is probably part of the team’s Opening Day plans, but Treanor is still vying with 40-man roster member George Kottaras for the backup catcher job, and Schoeneweis is part of the Brewers’ complicated “combinations and permutations” in the pitching department.
In the race to back up starting catcher Gregg Zaun, the Brewers essentially have to choose between offense and defense. Kottaras bats left-handed and has shown significant power while batting .321 and slugging .679 in the Cactus League. Six of his nine hits have gone for extra bases, including a pair of home runs. Treanor, meanwhile, is batting just .200 and slugging .250, but he is an advanced defensive catcher with much more Major League experience.
“He’s done a fine job receiving the ball,” manager Ken Macha said. “I think he’s been very receptive to all instruction and he’s very knowledgeable about what’s going on. On the defensive side of it, I think he’s solid.”
Even in the very unlikely case he would be open to an assignment, the Brewers probably don’t have room for Treanor in the Minor Leagues because prospects Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy are already fighting for playing time.
Treanor planned to place a call Sunday night to his agent, Joel Wolf, to discuss his out date.
“Defensively, handling the pitchers, I feel like I’ve done what I wanted to do,” Treanor said. “Offensively, I’ve missed some chances. … It’s a tough decision on the club because Georgie has been great.”
Schoeneweis signed a Minor League contract with Milwaukee on Feb. 9 and has allowed four earned runs but only three hits in six Spring Training games. He said Sunday that he would not be willing to accept a Minor League assignment. The Brewers already have one left-hander ticketed for the Major League bullpen in Mitch Stetter.
At least two other non-roster invitees have “out” clauses in their contracts, but both come into play during the regular season. Left-hander A.J. Murray can become a free agent if he’s not with the Brewers on June 15, and outfielder Trent Oeltjen can walk away if he is not in the Majors within 48 hours of July 1.