The Brewers have acquired left-handed reliever Xavier Cedeno from the White Sox for minor-leaguers Bryan Connell and Johan Dominguez, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported and the team later confirmed on Friday afternoon:
#Brewers acquiring LH reliever Xavier Cedeno from #WhiteSox, sources tell The Athletic.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2018
August 31, 2018
The 32-year-old Cedeno has pitched over parts of eight big-league seasons but has been up and down frequently enough that he’s had his service time stretched out to a ridiculous extent, and as a result he’s under club control through the end of the 2019 season. Over 33 appearances for the White Sox this year, Cedeno has a 2.84 ERA and 1.26 WHIP with 28 strikeouts and 13 walks through 25.1 innings. He hasn’t been exceptionally more dominant against lefties than righties, but he’d seemingly be an effective matchup guy for the Brewers, as he’s held left-handed hitters to a .209/.277/.326 slash line this year.
His ability to match up against lefties is relevant because the Brewers already have two really good multi-purpose lefties in Josh Hader — arguably the best lefty reliever in the league this year with a 2.01 ERA and 0.78 WHIP over 67 innings — and Dan Jennings, a trusty veteran who has a 3.25 ERA and 1.34 WHIP over 61 innings.
Clearly, Cedeno doesn’t help the Brewers with their biggest need: rotation depth. With Brent Suter out for the year following Tommy John surgery and Jimmy Nelson having missed the whole season after undergoing shoulder surgery, the Brewers are shorthanded when it comes to quality starting pitching, and their rotation has posted a 4.03 ERA this year, which ranks 10th in the NL.
Cedeno is the second reliever the White Sox have traded to the Brewers over the last month-and-a-half, joining right-hander Joakim Soria.
Connell, a 19-year-old outfielder from Panama, has posted a combined .239/.355/.432 line with seven homers over 48 games split between the Dominican Summer League and the Advanced Rookie League Helena Brewers. Dominguez, a 22-year-old right-hander who has seen action with both of the clubs Connell has played for this season as well as the AZL Brewers, has an impressive 0.82 ERA and 0.85 WHIP with a .132 opponent batting average, 36 strikeouts, and 13 walks over 33 innings of relief this year. Those numbers are impressive, but clearly he’s a bit old for all of those leagues and will need to start moving up the ladder rather quickly if he wants to reach the big leagues at some point. Neither Connell or Dominguez was ranked among the Brewers’ top 30 prospects by MLB Pipeline.