2013 Milwaukee Brewers: Team Signs Free-Agent Infielder Bobby Crosby

Andrew MartinCorrespondent IIIJanuary 27, 2013

The Milwaukee Brewers recently made a last-minute move to shore up their roster depth by signing veteran free-agent infielder Bobby Crosby to a minor-league contract.

FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Crosby will earn $800,000 if he makes the team, with another $450,000 possible through incentives.

The signing was also confirmed in a separate report by MLB.com’s Cash Kruth.

This is a smaller move that has the potential of paying off big for Milwaukee before the 2013 season is over. 

Crosby, a veteran of eight major league seasons, saw his career stall in recent years and hasn’t played in the majors since 2010.

He won the 2004 American League Rookie of the Year Award as a shortstop with the Oakland A’s, hitting .239 with 22 home runs and 64 RBI. 

That rookie season was the best of the 33-year-old Crosby’s career to date. He’s also played with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Arizona Diamondbacks, but struggled with injuries and inconsistency. Other than 2004, he has only once played in more than 100 games in a season (145 games in 2008 with Oakland).

Crosby has played in 747 games in his career, batting .236 with 62 home runs and 276 RBI. Although he has primarily played shortstop, he also has experience playing first, second and third, making his versatility a potentially valuable asset.

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel quoted Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin, who spoke about why he signed Crosby:

He’s going to come to camp and get a chance to make the club as a backup infielder. He can play all three infield positions. We might carry two (extra) infielders.

There are no guarantees. We'll find out what he can do. Sometimes, these guys get out of the game and are hungry to play again. It's just a role on the club but you never know.

Rosenthal noted that Crosby is the third player on the comeback trail, represented by agent Paul Cohen, who has been signed by the Brewers in recent years. Gabe Kapler in 2008 and Jim Edmonds in 2010 were both in similar situations and went on to have successful tenures with Milwaukee.

Haudricourt wrote that Crosby held an open workout in January in an effort to land a job for the upcoming season.

Crosby could be a fit backing up young shortstop Jean Segura. Additionally, he could also provide some depth at first base now that Corey Hart will be out until at least May because of knee surgery.

If Crosby can prove he’s still a major-league caliber player during spring training, he could be extremely valuable to a team already contending with youth and health concerns.

The signing is a perfect example of a low-risk, potentially high-reward move. Crosby is looking for another shot at the major leagues, and Milwaukee can give him just that if he proves capable of grabbing a roster spot.


Statistics via BaseballReference