Herrera non-tendered by Brewers, but could return

Herrera non-tendered by Brewers, but could return

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers removed utility man Elian Herrera from the 40-man roster Wednesday for the third time in 2015, opting not to tender him a contract ahead of a 10:59 p.m. CT deadline for teams to tender their unsigned players.

General manager David Stearns indicated the Brewers would like to keep Herrera in the organization.

Brewers' Hot Stove Tracker

"He proved he can be a valuable member of a team this past season," Stearns wrote in an email. "At this point in the offseason, it's a nice luxury to have the extra roster flexibility."

Herrera entered 2015 with one home run in parts of three Major League seasons for the Dodgers and Brewers, but he hit seven in 256 at-bats this past season. After the Brewers traded Aramis Ramirez, Herrera was among the players who saw significant starts at third base, and he was considered one of the incumbent candidates -- with newly acquired Jonathan Villar and prospect Yadiel Rivera -- to play the position for the Brewers in 2016.

For now, Herrera is free to sign with any team. The switch-hitter will turn 31 before the start of Spring Training.

The Brewers did tender offers, as expected, to their three arbitration-eligible players -- shortstop Jean Segura and pitchers Wily Peralta and Will Smith. The next deadline in that process is Jan. 15, the date by which teams and arbitration-eligible players who remain unsigned exchange salary proposals.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.