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Brewers sign Voit, designate Hiura for assignment

MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs

Mar 12, 2023; Mesa, Arizona, USA; Milwaukee Brewers infielder Luke Voit (45) trots around the bases after a home run in the second inning during a spring training game against the Chicago Cubs at Sloan Park. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

PHOENIX -- The Milwaukee Brewers signed first baseman Luke Voit and designated Keston Hiura for assignment as part of a flurry of moves they made to prepare for the start of the season.

Voit had arrived in camp on a minor-league deal at the start of spring training but opted out of that contract last week, enabling him to negotiate with other teams. The 2020 MLB home-run leader instead stayed with the Brewers on a one-year, major-league deal that includes a club option for 2024.

The 32-year-old Voit batted .226 with 22 homers, 69 RBIs and a .308 on-base percentage in 135 games with the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals last season. Voit’s best year came in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, when he batted .277 with 22 homers and 52 RBIs in 56 games with the New York Yankees.

Hiura, 26, posted a .938 OPS in 84 games as a rookie in 2019 but hasn’t approached that production since. He batted .226 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs in 80 games last season and struck out in 111 of his 266 plate appearances.

The Brewers also indicated rookie second baseman Brice Turang, right-handed pitcher Gus Varland and utilityman Owen Miller have made the major-league roster.

Varland, 26, was a Rule 5 draft pick from the Los Angeles Dodgers. That means Brewers must keep him on their major-leaguer roster all season or place him on waivers. If he clears waivers, Varland must be offered back to the Dodgers for $50,000.

Turang, 23, batted .286 with a .360 on-base percentage, 13 homers, 78 RBIs and 34 steals in 131 games for Triple-A Nashville last season.

Miller, 26, batted .243 with six homers and 51 RBIs in 130 games for the Cleveland Guardians last season.

In other moves, the Brewers optioned infielder Abraham Toro to Nashville and reassigned outfielders Sal Frelick and Joey Wiemer to minor-league camp.

The Brewers open the season at Chicago against the Cubs.