As it turned out, they kept both.
The Brewers announced Monday that Lucroy was being activated from the DL and will join the club Tuesday in Pittsburgh at the start of a nine-game trip. To make room for Lucroy on their roster, the Brewers designated outfielder Jeremy Reed for assignment.
The move delayed the decision on parting with Nieves or Kottaras, neither of whom has a minor league option remaining. General manager Doug Melvin said Kottaras could fill the role of left-handed hitter off the bench, the duty previously assigned to Reed.
After making the roster during spring training by batting .400 with a team-high 14 RBI, Reed was 0-for-7 as a pinch-hitter.
"We felt with (Nyjer) Morgan and (Mark) Kotsay, we're protected in the outfield," said Melvin. "Jeremy wasn't getting a lot of playing time and probably wasn't going to, the way Morgan has been playing."
Lucroy, who broke his right pinkie finger in the first week of spring camp during a defensive drill, played in four games with Class AA Huntsville (Ala.) on rehab assignment. He was deemed ready to rejoin the Brewers, and will do so for the start of a nine-game trip Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
In the four games with Huntsville, Lucroy batted .273 with four RBI but thanks to six walks had an outstanding .529 on-base percentage.
Because Reed had been sent outright to the minors previously, he has the right to become a free agent instead of reporting to Class AAA Nashville. Melvin said Reed has until Wednesday to notify the club of his plans.
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