Brewers trade for Rays reliever Badenhop

MILWAUKEE — Beginning to rebuild what was the worst bullpen in baseball in 2012, Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin announced Saturday that the club has acquired right-handed reliever Burke Badenhop from Tampa Bay in exchange for minor league outfielder Raul Mondesi Jr.

After already parting ways with relievers Kameron Loe, Francisco Rodriguez, Jose Veras, Manny Parra and Livan Hernandez, Melvin’s first piece in reassembling the bullpen is the 29-year-old Badenhop, who had a 3.03 ERA in 66 games in his lone season with the Rays in 2012.

Traded to the Rays from the Marlins on Dec. 12, 2011, Badenhop got better as the season wore on in 2012, posting a 1.42 ERA in his last 16 appearances. The 6-foot-5 right-hander held opponents to a .229 batting average during that stretch. Badenhop is under contract through the 2014 season.

In his five-year major league career, Badenhop has appeared in 217 games with a 4.08 ERA and a 16-17 career record in 313 innings. After coming up and struggling as a starter with the Marlins in 2008, he was converted to a full-time reliever the next season.

Badenhop is known as a ground ball pitcher thanks to his sinker, which he threw 74.4 percent of the time last season. Mostly a two-pitch pitcher, Badenhop uses his slider to complement his sinker. His fastball averaged 88.7 miles per hour in 2012, but he features good command, only walking 12 the entire season.

Mondesi Jr., the son of former major league All-Star Raul Mondesi, signed with the Brewers as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The 20-year-old outfielder spent last season in rookie ball, where he hit .231 with five home runs and 32 RBI in 68 games for Helena.

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