In his ninth off-season trade move, Brewers general manager David Stearns sent outfielder Khris Davis to the Oakland Athletics on Friday night in exchange for pitcher Bowdien 'Bubba' Derby and catcher Jacob Nottingham.
With Davis out of the picture, the Brewers could turn to promising prospect Domingo Santana in left field. On the other hand, the A's designated lefty pitcher Sean Nolin for assignment in order to clear space for Davis on the team's 40-man roster.
"We're trading from a spot of depth on our major-league roster, which is always nice to do," Stearns told the Journal Sentinel. "We feel as though we've got sufficient outfield corner depth. The ability two players like Nottingham and Derby have, to continue to stock our system with quality minor-league talent, was too much to pass up."
Davis hit .247/.323/.505 with 16 doubles, 27 homers and 66 RBI last season in 121 games. He has averaged 30 home runs for every 162 games played at this early stage in his career, which is a total of 321 games. He is not eligible for arbitration until the 2016 season ends and is likewise ineligible for free agency until 2019.
In return for the 28-year-old outfielder, Milwaukee got two young minor leaguers who are ranked as the Nos. 11 and 12 prospects in Oakland's farm system, according to Baseball America. The 6-foot-3 Nottingham is a highly regarded catching prospect, hitting .316/.372/.505 with 33 doubles along with 17 homers in 119 games last season, all between Class A and Class A-Advanced. He was originally in the Houston Astros' system but was sent to the Athletics in the Scott Kazmir trade last summer.
Derby, meanwhile, had a 1.21 ERA in 14 appearances last season between Rookie ball and Class A. He appeared in a dozen games, eight of them at the start, for Oakland's Low-A affiliate last year. He posted an excellent strand rate of 95.4 percent. In Derby's small sample of 34.2 innings pitched, he can strike out 34.9 percent of the batters that he had faced.
In more Brewers lineup updates, veteran relief pitcher Blaine Boyer has recently agreed to sign a minor-league contract with the team. The club announced the move on Friday, along with an invitation for Boyer to attend spring training.
The pitcher, who turns 35 in July, has spent his past nine seasons in the major league with the Braves, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres and Twins. In his pro career, Boyer has pitched in a total of 333 games, all of them in relief, with an ERA of 4.22 and 1.367 WHIP. During his 2015 stint in Minnesota, he appeared in 68 games and delivered a 2.49 ERA and 1.246 WHIP in 65 innings.