FRIDAY: The deal has been announced. Milwaukee opened a 40-man spot by shifting righty Jimmy Nelson to the 60-day DL. That will mean he can’t debut until the end of May, though he was not expected back before then anyway.
First baseman/DH Ji-Man Choi — whose eye-opening spring surprisingly earned him a MLB roster spot — was optioned to create room on the active roster.
WEDNESDAY: The Brewers are in agreement with left-hander Dan Jennings, pending a physical, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). I’m told it’s a Major League pact for the veteran southpaw.
The ACES client was released by the Rays earlier this week, and Tom Haudicourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel suggested earlier tonight that the Brew Crew was pursuing an external pitching addition that could carry 25-man roster implications (Twitter links). Specifically, Haudicourt implied that Ji-Man Choi, who won a spot on the Brewers’ Opening Day roster but has an option remaining, could be sent to Triple-A early in the season once this deal is finalized.
Jennings, 31 next month, was somewhat surprisingly cut loose by the Rays earlier this week. He’d agreed to a $2.375MM salary with Tampa Bay earlier this winter, avoiding arbitration, and the Rays’ decision to cut him loose means they’ll be on the hook for about $584K of that sum (45 days’ termination pay). He’ll pocket that sum in addition to the guarantee to which he agreed on his new deal with the Brewers.
The decision to cut Jennings had been speculated upon but was nonetheless somewhat of an eye-opener, as the veteran southpaw posted a strong 3.45 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 4.5 BB/9 and a 59.8 percent ground-ball rate in 62 2/3 frames between the White Sox and Rays last season. Opposing lefties hit just .213/.323/.306 in 128 plate appearances against Jennings. Moreover, the Rays traded at least a somewhat notable prospect, first baseman Casey Gillaspie, in order to acquire Jennings.
He’ll now join a Brewers bullpen that saw its left-handed depth take a hit with an injury to fellow veteran Boone Logan, who looks likely to miss six or more weeks with a strained triceps muscle.. As an added bonus, Jennings enters the year just a single day shy of five years of MLB service. Because of that, the Brewers will be able to control him through the 2019 season via arbitration as opposed to just the 2018 season.
All told, Jennings will bring to the Brewers a veteran arm with a career 2.90 ERA, 7.3 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and a 55.2 percent ground-ball rate to a Brewers’ bullpen that also features closer Corey Knebel and setup men Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader, Matt Albers and Jacob Barnes.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Depending on money I like this deal. I would consider him a guy you can certainly trust in the middle innings. Having Hader, Logan and Jennings as lefties out of the pen is a luxury also.
Chou or Drake gone, I’d guess.
Chou will go down to AAA but they still have to open a 40 man roster spot
He’s always weirdly outplayed his peripherals, but homers finally started catching up to him last year. We’ll see if he can keep defying the odds.
As bad as the Rays needed bullpen help I wasn’t sorry to see him go. He rarely did the job when called upon. He has to be better…right?
He had a 3.44 in Tampa and a 3.45 on the year. What does rarely getting the job done mean exactly?
Stats can be deceiving. He’d come in with men on base to face tough left bat and usually gave up big hit sometimes 2 then be pulled and another pitcher bailed him out. Routinely. Hope he does better. Really.
For a lefty specialist, yeah an opposing .323 OBP against lefties isn’t very good.
That’s because of walks. He actually only had a .209 average against lefties. Not saying he will set the world on fire but if he can control the walks some I honestly think he is and can be better than Logan.
Bottom line is he rarely did the job. Do you think the discount Rays would eat that contract if he showed them anything?
They’re only eating about $550k. Which I believe is equivalent to an actual dinner/drink tab for most sports franchise owners.
I’d guess Oliver Drake is gone
Seems likely that they’ll just bump Choi down to Triple-A once the deal is official. He has an option left and the Brewers are breaking camp with only six relievers in the ‘pen.
Wishful thinking he was terrible last year. With the surplus of outfielders and 1st basemen I think there will be a trade soon for pitching.
This could give us the option to put a Haterade in the Rotation
Lol, that’s not happening
No chance at all Hader moves off the 8th inning lol
Hader is and most likely always will be a fireman (unless Knebel implodes, but I’m of the group that doubts that).
I’m think Hader becomes a Andrew Miller type pitcher. Pitching in the most important part of the game.
Good move! Stearns is amazing. Not that it’s a we just won the world series move, but almost every move he makes, makes us more of a contender and rarely has a lot of risk. Build a really good major league team and a great minor league team that he can both funnel into our team to keep us contending for years to come and to use as trade bate
The brewers system is good but not elite. Particularly after taking out Brinson, Diaz, and Harrison. If they made another yelich (archer) type move that system wouldn’t look so hot. Hiura is their best prospect left. They have olenty of chips to get your Jake Odorizzi or Colin Mchugh type starters but getting a TOR arm with control would hurt a lot right now.
As far as I see, Dan, the only decisions Stearns made this winter that improved the team, were the Cain and Yelich moves. They were great, but he has lowballed multiple free agent pitchers, failed to trade from our glut of OF/1B/DH types to get a Danny Duffy or a Manaea or a Teheran type, from a tanking team. You could say he literally had ONE great day this winter. And now, we may be 1 SP short of a playoff berth.
I’m not at all saying the Phillies will be a playoff team this year, it would be shocking if they won 85 games, but the Phillies for sure are several games better than this train wreck in Milwaukee.
Also, how strange that the Brewers moved Braun from LF to 1B while the Phillies pushed Hoskins into LF. Neither of these moves any sense whatsoever.
“Train wreck”? We’ll see. Yes, one starter short but a solid offensive team that just improved its defense with the Cain/Yelich signings.
Yeah Braun is a below average defensive LF at this point in his career on a team with at least 4 starting caliber Ofers. Makes zero sense to see him play some first base. None whatsoever.
So you’d bet on what like 75 wins for Milwaukee?
What do The Phillies have anything to do with this article?
The Brewers need some pitching and bullpen depth, especially for the next couple months.
Not a bad pickup.
Cub fan here buts must say this is a good move for Brewers. I’m one of the few who like both Cubs and Sox so I’ve seen plenty of Jennings to know he can get you tough outs in difficult situations.
What was the amount of the contract?