Lefty reliever Boone Logan has agreed to a one-year deal with the Brewers, reports Adam McCalvy of MLB.com (Twitter links). Logan will be guaranteed $2.5MM on the deal, which comes in the form of a $1.875MM base salary plus a $625K buyout on a $4.125MM option for the 2019 season. Logan can also earn up to $3.2MM worth of incentives in each year of the deal. He’s represented by Hub Sports Management.
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Milwaukee was light on left-handed bullpen help for much of the 2017 season and, at multiple points throughout the year, didn’t have a lefty in its bullpen at all. The 33-year-old Logan will give the Brew Crew an experienced option to help remedy that situation in 2018; it’s quite possible that he’ll be joined by young southpaw Josh Hader, who excelled in a relief role last year. Milwaukee could also return Hader to a starting role in ’18, though that could be dependent on what moves are yet to come for GM David Stearns and his staff.
Last season with the Indians, Logan hit the disabled list with a strained lat muscle in late July, and that injury ultimately proved to be season-ending in nature. He wound up tossing just 21 innings in 38 appearances as a lefty specialist in Cleveland, working to a 4.71 ERA. That said, Logan racked up a dozen strikeouts per nine against 3.9 walks per nine along with a 50 percent ground-ball rate in that time and has generally been a quality relief piece over the past eight seasons, with last year’s injury-shortened campaign and a dreadful 2014 season (6.84 ERA for the Rockies) standing out as notable exceptions.
Logan has long offered tantalizing skills, even if the results haven’t always quite matched. He has long boasted well-above-average swinging-strike rates — never higher than last year’s 18.5% rate — with a heater that sits around 94 mph and a heavily used, generally devastating slider. He has registered eleven or more strikeouts per nine in each of the past six campaigns. Of late, Logan has also generated quality groundball numbers as well (around 50% in each of the past two seasons).
Nevertheless, Logan owns a less-than-exciting 4.47 ERA in over 400 career MLB innings. No doubt that’s due in some part to the fact that he has never really figured out right-handed hitters. When pitching without the platoon advantage, Logan has coughed up a .286/.373/.472 cumulative batting line, with a K/BB ratio less than half that he has maintained against same-handed hitters.
Given the relatively meager commitment this contract represents, the Brewers will likely not feel much pressure to extend Logan beyond his area of greatest function — that is, entering to face tough lefties but not being asked to serve in a general setup capacity in high-leverage spots. Certainly, Logan won’t occupy much space on the organization’s payroll ledger, which still seems to offer quite a bit of room for additions for 2018 and beyond.