Colin Rea stays with Milwaukee Brewers, agrees to $4.5 million 1-year contract

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Right-hander Colin Rea stayed with the Milwaukee Brewers rather than explore the free-agent market, agreeing Thursday to a $4.5 million, one-year contract that could be worth up to $10 million over two seasons.

Rea gets a $3.5 million salary next season, and the deal includes a $5.5 million team option for 2025 with a $1 million buyout. He can earn $500,000 annually in performance bonuses based on innings: $75,000 each for 80 and 100, $100,000 for 120 and $250,000 for 140.

If the 2025 option is declined, Rea's contract specifies he can become a free agent.

The 33-year-old became a free agent Monday and could have started negotiations with any team next Monday.

After making just one major league appearance in 2021 and spending last season with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan's Central League, Rea agreed to a $1.5 million, one-year deal with the Brewers and went 6-6 with a 4.55 ERA in 26 games. He earned $500,000 in performance bonuses based on innings.

Rea helped stabilize a starting rotation that was dealing with multiple injuries the first half of the season. Rea’s 22 starts ranked fourth on the team, and the Brewers went 14-8 in those games while winning their second NL Central title in three years.

Rea set career highs in wins, appearances, starts, innings (124 2/3) and strikeouts (110). He is 14-14 with a 4.74 ERA in five major league seasons that includes stints with San Diego (2015-16), Miami (2016) , the Chicago Cubs (2020) and the Brewers (2021, '23).

In other moves Thursday, the Brewers claimed infielder Vinny Capra off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates and declined team options on left-handed pitchers Andrew Chafin and Justin Wilson.

The Brewers owe buyouts of $750,000 to Chafin and $150,000 to Wilson. If their options had been exercised, Chafin would have received $7.25 million next season and Wilson $2.5 million.

Chafin, 33, went 1-1 with a 5.82 ERA in 20 appearances for the Brewers after they acquired him up at the trade deadline from Arizona, where he had gone 2-3 with a 4.19 ERA and eight saves. Chafin didn't make the Brewers' playoff roster.

The 36-year-old Wilson didn't pitch in the majors this season. He was warming up in the bullpen on July 28 and was preparing to pitch his first game since Tommy John surgery on June 3, 2022, when he hurt his lat and went back on the injured list.

Capra, 27, batted .167 in nine games with the Pirates this year.