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Morgan, Loe refuse Brewers' minor league assignments

Nyjer Morgan, an essential part of the Milwaukee Brewers' run to the 2011 National League Central title, will become a free agent after declining an outright assignment to the minor leagues on Friday.

Morgan batted .304 with four home runs, 37 RBI and 13 stolen bases in 119 games as Milwaukee's regular center fielder in 2011, but lost his starting job to Carlos Gomez this past season and had a steep decline in production. The fan favorite hit just .239 with three homers, 16 RBI and 12 steals over 122 games.

The 32-year-old, who was acquired by the Brewers in a trade with Washington prior to the 2011 campaign, had been taken off the 40-man roster on Thursday.

Also refusing an assignment to Triple-A Nashville was relief pitcher Kameron Loe. The right-hander is also coming off a disappointing season in which he compiled a 6-5 record, two saves and a 4.61 earned run average over 70 appearances.

Loe had been a key member of the Milwaukee bullpen during the 2011 playoff march, posting a 3.50 ERA in a career-high 72 games.

The Brewers also outrighted first baseman Travis Ishikawa to Nashville on Friday. The left-handed hitter batted .257 with four homers and 30 RBI in 94 games with Milwaukee this past season.