Brewers' GM Doug Melvin added Sounds' versatile infielder Adam Heether to the Brewers' 40-man roster on Monday. This move means either:
a. Heether has been identified as valuable trade bait; or
b. Heether figures to replace Craig Counsell as the Brewers' back-up middle infielder in 2010; or
c. Heether will play again in AAA, only getting called up if someone gets hurt; or
d. Heether, with six years in the minors, would become a free agent if not protected, and would have signed elsewhere; or
e. Most of the above.
The likely answer is 'e'--dependent on how Heether does in Maryvale come March. In the field, Heether can play all infield positions, as well as the corner outfield positions, making him ideal for both resting regular players and for National League clubs that like to do a double switch in late innings. While still young relatively young at 28 in '10, as well as affordable, Heether bats...you guessed it: right-handed. If added to the 40-man over Craig Counsell, the Brewers would have one fewer left-handed bats off the bench in '10 than they did in '09.
Heether is also struggling in Venezuela--only hitting .172 after hitting .293 for the Sounds. If this slump is due to fatigue, will he get enough time off to be effective in the Spring? Only time will tell.