The Gold Glove center fielder, making a comeback after taking the 2009 season off, had his minor league contract purchased Thursday, giving the 39-year-old a spot on the 40-man roster.
The move put $850,000 in Edmonds' pocket, with the ability to make up to $1.75 million in bonuses.
The four-time All-Star is likely headed for a reserve role behind projected starter Carlos Gomez, although Edmonds' ability to play all three outfield positions gives the Brewers options.
"His defense is still there and his throwing arm is still there," manager Ken Macha said. "He still needs more at-bats. But to be away for a whole year and be hitting the ball the way he has this spring has been pretty impressive."
Also Thursday, the Brewers released left-hander Scott Schoeneweis, who was in camp on a minor league contract. He would've received a one-year deal worth $800,000 if he'd been added to the 40-man roster.
The 36-year-old is 46-57 with a 4.97 ERA in his 11-year major league career, making 93 starts among 562 appearances. He was 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA in 45 relief appearances with Arizona last season.
His wife died from an overdose of cocaine and other drugs last May, and he spent three weeks on the bereavement list before returning in June. He went on the DL in August because of depression and returned to the team in September.