The native of Vancouver pitched last summer for Team Canada at the Beijing Olympics, and he's currently working in the Venezuelan Winter League. Swindle posted a 3.17 ERA in his first 13 appearances for Magallanes with 17 strikeouts and three walks.
"He gets left-handed hitters out," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's more of a situational guy, not necessarily a full-inning guy. But he's a guy that we feel can get people out."
Swindle joins Mitch Stetter as the only left-handed relievers on Milwaukee's roster, though the door remains slightly open for Brian Shouse to return. Melvin said the team was "not sure" about striking a deal with Shouse, 40, who is seeking a two-year contract. The Brewers have only been open to offer a one-year deal.
Swindle's style is somewhat similar to Shouse's despite their differing statures (Shouse is listed at 5-foot-10 and 196 pounds; Swindle at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds). Swindle throws a variety of pitches from different arm angles, including a 55-mph curveball. His fastball tops out in the 84-85-mph range.
Swindle is believed to have agreed to a split contract that pays the Major League minimum salary -- $400,000 in 2009 -- if he remains in the big leagues. He has two Minor League options remaining.
Tracy Paul Hunt, Swindle's agent, said the Brewers were among three "serious contenders," with six other teams, including the Phillies, offering Minor League deals with an invitation to attend Spring Training.
"We wanted a 40-man roster spot and the Brewers stepped up," Hunt said.
The Brewers are working to fill holes in the bullpen left by free agents Eric Gagne, Guillermo Mota and Shouse and more recently by Salomon Torres, who announced his intent to retire. The Brewers sent Torres the necessary paperwork to make that intent official, but Torres has not yet filled it out and returned it.
Melvin did slam the door shut Tuesday on one rumor that the Brewers were interested in 39-year-old Japanese left-hander Ken Takahashi.
"We're not involved with any Japanese players," Melvin said.
The Brewers have 36 players on the 40-man roster, including Torres.