Milwaukee Brewers Sign Former Reds, Astros Reliever Joel Kuhnel to Minor League Deal

Right-handed relief pitcher Joel Kuhnel, who was recently designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays, is now set to join the Milwaukee Brewers' organization.
Apr 12, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Joel Kuhnel (72) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park.
Apr 12, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros relief pitcher Joel Kuhnel (72) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. / Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers signed relief pitcher Joel Kuhnel to a minor league contract on Tuesday, according to the official MiLB transaction log.

Kuhnel immediately joined Triple-A Nashville, taking the mound for the Sounds against the Gwinnett Stripers. He allowed two hits, a walk and two earned runs in 1.0 inning.

The Toronto Blue Jays designated Kuhnel for assignment on May 31. He cleared waivers, then declined an outright assignment and elected free agency on June 5.

Kuhnel started 2024 in the Houston Astros' organization, re-signing with the club on a minor league contract in January. He came up for one MLB appearance against the Texas Rangers on April 12, when he ultimately allowed four earned runs across 2.0 innings of work.

Houston traded Kuhnel to Toronto in exchange for cash considerations on May 4.

In 16 Triple-A appearances between three organizations this season, Kuhnel is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 1.381 WHIP.

The Astros acquired Kuhnel in a trade with the Cincinnati Reds in June 2023, soon after the Reds designated him for assignment. He made seven appearances for Houston down the stretch, posting a 4.66 ERA and 1.345 WHIP in that limited time.

Kuhnel spent the previous seven seasons as a member of the Reds, reaching the big leagues for the first time in 2019. He went 4-3 with a 6.20 ERA and 1.432 WHIP in 69 MLB appearances during his time in Cincinnati.

The 29-year-old right-hander is now joining another NL Central club, although it remains to be seen if the Brewers are planning on bringing him up to the big leagues anytime soon.

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Sam Connon

SAM CONNON

Sam Connon is a Staff Writer for Fastball on the Sports Illustrated/FanNation networks. He previously covered UCLA Athletics for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's All Bruins, 247Sports' Bruin Report Online, Rivals' Bruin Blitz, the Bleav Podcast Network and the Daily Bruin, with his work as a sports columnist receiving awards from the College Media Association and Society of Professional Journalists. Connon also wrote for Sports Illustrated/FanNation's New England Patriots site, Patriots Country, and he was on the Patriots and Boston Red Sox beats at Prime Time Sports Talk.