CHICAGO -- Bill Hall, a onetime Milwaukee utility man who is currently playing for the Orioles' Triple-A Norfolk affiliate, spilled the beans Friday on Twitter that veteran right-hander Livan Hernandez was set to sign with the Brewers after seeing the pitcher at an airport.
The Brewers announced the deal as official a few hours later, and the 37-year-old, 17-year Major League veteran joined the team with a one-year contract before the start of their series at U.S. Cellular Field on Friday night against the White Sox.
Hernandez, who was released by the Braves on June 18, said he had other options but chose the Brewers as his ninth Major League team because Milwaukee had athletes he had played with, such as former Washington Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan.
"It's something nice and I know a lot of people here and I've got a lot of friends," Hernandez said.
Hernandez said he didn't know his role when he first arrived in Chicago. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made it clear.
"It gives us the long guy that we've been talking about," Roenicke said.
Roenicke said he had intended for Manny Parra to be the long reliever, though he's used Parra mostly as a specialist against left-handed batters. In addition, Roenicke said he's excited to have a smart, veteran player who "understands how to pitch."
"It kind of puts him in a role maybe like [Marco] Estrada was last year, where he really is the true long guy," Roenicke said. "If we need a spot start, we know he can do that."
Milwaukee designated reliever Juan Perez for assignment to clear roster space for Hernandez, who will wear No. 61.
Hernandez made 18 relief appearances for the Braves with a 4.94 ERA before that team released him last Friday. He would be a similar bullpen fit for the Brewers, even though the team is down a couple of starting pitchers. The Brewers have Estrada set to come off the disabled list on Tuesday.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Rowan Kavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.