The Brewers have avoided arbitration with right-hander Jimmy Nelson by agreeing to a one-year contract for 2019, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Twitter link). Nelson will earn $3.7MM in the deal, The Athletic’s Robert Murray tweets, which was Nelson’s salary from 2018 and the number that Haudricourt figured the righty would receive, given that Nelson missed all of last season recovering from shoulder surgery. MLBTR’s Matt Swartz projected the same $3.7MM figure for Nelson.
Before going under the knife in September 2017, Nelson was enjoying a breakout season, posting a 3.49 ERA, 10.2 K/9, and 4.15 K/BB rate over 175 1/3 innings for the Brew Crew. It was originally believed that Nelson would return at some point in 2018, though delays in his rehab kept him off the mound and he missed out on contributing to Milwaukee’s run to the NLCS.
Nelson’s expected return in 2019 is a “true wild card” for the Brewers and their rotation, as Haudricourt notes. The club has been checking in on available pitchers in free agency and trade talks, though a healthy and in-form Nelson would certainly be a major internal boost.