Ivan De Jesus was a replacement-level player with the Reds in 2016. While his offensive numbers weren't pretty, De Jesus proved to be a valuable defensive player on the infield. At 29 years old, De Jesus most likely is what he is at this point, which is a below-average hitter and above-average defender in the middle infield. After the Reds cut bait, De Jesus joined the Brewers on a minor league deal. His defensive value and versatility may help De Jesus find his way onto the major league roster in 2017, but there is no clear path to regular playing time.
De Jesus has not received any other MLB offers and expects to begin the season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. De Jesus pursued other offers after being left off the Brewers' Opening Day roster, but there were no major-league opportunities available to him. The shortstop is coming off a hot spring performance in which he posted a .429 average and a 1.031 OPS over 27 games, a trend he will hope to continue in the hitter-friendly confines of Colorado Springs.
De Jesus was informed Tuesday that he did not make the Brewers' Opening Day roster, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Despite hitting a gaudy .409 (18-for-44) over 22 Cactus League games this spring, the Brewers ultimately decided to leave De Jesus off the 25-man roster. He'll likely open the season in the hitter-friendly environment of Triple-A Colorado Springs if he doesn't land an MLB opportunity in the next 48 to 72 hours.
De Jesus signed a minor league contract with the Brewers on Monday that includes an invitation to spring training. He played in 104 games for the Reds last year, grading out as a replacement-level player (0.1 fWAR). De Jesus can play all four infield positions, which is what makes him appealing in a real life sense, but he has a career 71 wRC+ in 545 plate appearances, making him unappealing in fantasy. Look for him to start the year at Triple-A.
De Jesus was outrighted to Triple-A Louisville on Friday. De Jesus was on the major league roster the entire year, but he only acted as a reserve utility player for the bulk of the season. With younger players waiting in the upper levels of the minors, the Reds decided to cast the 29-year-old off the 40-man roster, although given his major league experience, he very well could be back in the big leagues at some point in 2017.
De Jesus was added to the lineup for Sunday's game against the Pirates in place of Zack Cozart (knee), MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. De Jesus has not started since Tuesday, but he will do so Sunday with Cozart unable to go. De Jesus will hit eighth against Pirates starter Ryan Vogelsong.