The Brewers today added outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Amaury Rivas to the 40-man roster, joining Adam Heether and upping the team’s roster to 35. Anthony Witrado has the news at the JSOnline blog.
The move protects the two players from December’s Rule 5 draft. Rivas was named the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year after going 13-7 with a 2.98 ERA for the High-Class A Brevard County Manatees. Cain had a rough 2009, battling injuries while hitting a combined .218/.294/.330 for the Arizona Brewers (rookie), Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (low-A), and Huntsville Stars (AA). Cain will be 24 next year, but has shown promise as recent as 2008, when he worked his way up to Triple A Nashville while hitting a combined .279/.356/.448.
It’s interesting that Cain was protected, since the trade for Carlos Gomez seemingly put his future with the Brewers in question. This is just a guess, but perhaps he was protected in order to make him a bit more appealing in a possible trade later this offseason?