Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, officially released by the Brewers yesterday, has drawn some level of interest from several teams, tweets Yahoo’s Matt Ehalt. The Reds, Mets, Phillies, Rays and even the Brewers are among the teams who’ve inquired about the 2018 All-Star.
Jeffress isn’t postseason eligible, having been cut loose in September, but some of the interested teams would apparently like to proactively lock him up to a deal that covers the 2020 campaign (perhaps via a club option). That’d help to explain Milwaukee’s reported interest in bringing the righty back; the Brewers clearly had no intention of exercising Jeffress preexisting $4.3MM option for the 2020 season, but they (or another suitor) could conceivably try to hammer out an option at a lower base salary with some additional incentives. Any team signing Jeffress would only owe him the prorated league minimum for the remainder of the current season.
It’s also possible, though, that Jeffress could simply sit out the remainder of the season and explore opportunities this winter. He was on the injured list due to a hip ailment at the time of his release, and there’d surely be some benefit to an extended period of rest for the righty. He’ll likely have offseason minor league offers with decent base salaries (though less than the previous $4.3MM) at the very least, meaning there’s no rush to sign at the moment. There’ll surely be teams who are only interested in adding him after the current season draws to a close, so waiting until November to take a deal would widen his market.
Open-market circumstances surrounding Jeffress will always be somewhat atypical, given the right-hander’s history. He’s served multiple minor league suspensions for drugs of abuse (i.e. marijuana) and was charged with a DWI while pitching for the Rangers in 2016. That track record surely contributed to the club-friendly deal Jeffress signed with Milwaukee prior to the 2018 season, which came with two team options at relatively low base rates and plenty of yearly incentives based on innings pitched and games finished.
Jeffress’ release earlier this week marked the end of a radical downturn in performance. The right-hander logged a 1.29 ERA with 10.5 K/9, 3.2 BB/9, 0.59 HR/9 and a 56.4 percent ground-ball rate in last year’s All-Star season before unraveling in the playoffs. He then missed the first several weeks of the 2019 season due to shoulder fatigue.
Upon activation in mid-April, Jeffress pitched well for two months, logging a 2.52 ERA and a 26-to-9 K/BB ratio through his first 22 appearances (25 innings). Since that time, he’s scuffled with an ERA north of 7.00 and a deflated strikeout rate. Jeffress’ velocity has actually improved a bit as he’s distanced himself from the early shoulder fatigue, but the aforementioned hip ailment has added another injury to the ledger. In all, he’s turned in 52 innings with a 5.02 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 1.00 HR/9 and a 48.4 percent ground-ball rate while enduring a pair of IL stints in 2019. The upside a healthy Jeffress brings to the table is enormous, but he’s struggled to produce consistent results over the past three seasons.
Would Jeffress still be postseason eligible he resigned with Milwaukee?
I doubt the issue will come up.
No. He’s not on the roster as of Sep 1 so not eligible.
but he was actually (well on IL but that’s covered) so does the rule state “on sept 1, and continuously from there on”
Would love to see the Reds pick him up. Being reunited with Derek Johnson should help him have a bounce-back year next season, right?
Broadly speaking, I think pitching coach connections are an oversimplification of issues. Jeffress was quite good from 2014-15 without Johnson.
I certainly don’t think that level of familiarity with a pitcher’s strengths, weaknesses and personality hurts, but there are plenty of examples of “[Pitcher] reunites with [coach] and still flops.”
More than any pitching coach, getting back to full health/regaining the 1.5 mph he lost off his heater would probably benefit Jeffress.
What would really help him is his location. Does not matter if hes throwing 91 or 98 if its right over the plate. Big league hitters can hit a fastball no matter the speed if its a bad pitch. Hader has been using his off speed more and is lights out again. I would love to see a study done on relief pitchers and why its so up and down each year. 2018 he was virtually un-hittable. would love to see some research done on why relievers are so inconsistent these days.
I disagree about the pitching coach comment. Great pitching coaches can channel into pitchers mental and unlock their true potential. Its not a coincidence that Johnson leaves MIL and Burnes/Peralta straight up lose their confidence.
see Sonny Gray.
classy of the Brewers to cut him while on the DL
and after the postseason eligibility deadline
The Brewer are currently 4 games back of the Cubs for the final NL wild card spot with two other teams ahead of them. They host Chicago with a four game set beginning on Thursday. If they don’t win at least 3 of those games you can pretty much stick a fork in them with only 3 weeks remaining in the season following that weekend series.
It’s not like they ever helped him or gave him a second (or third, or fourth) chance after drug/alcohol related issues or ineffective/inconsistent performance or anything…
“The upside a healthy Jeffress brings to the table is enormous, but he’s struggled to produce consistent results over the past three seasons.”
He was obviously over used. If his next team can avoid that he should rebound nicely.
76 innings is overused?
stan lee the manly
Total innings never tells the entire story. Look at how many higher leverage, longer outing, multiple days in a row type appearances he made in 2018. It wasn’t the innings that wore him down, it’s how he was employed. Counsell used him as his buzzsaw (and rightfully so with the year he had), but he’s felt the effects of that all year.
Is there any evidence to back this up?
Personally I would like to see the major league to quit messing with the baseballs. Put them back to the way they were last year. The laces I believe they said are tighter and therefore a lot of pitchers splitters and breaking stuff have been made ineffective. In all for more offense.
Why would the brewers cut him, then be interested in bringing him back did. I miss something?
stan lee the manly
Because they would have to pay him more than $4 mil next year. A 5 ERA isn’t worth that, but less than a mil guaranteed with incentives to bring it back up to that amount would be, then they only pay him if he produces. Otherwise, they save money for other players.
stan lee the manly
Says so right in the article.
They don’t HAVE to do anything. His contract next year is a team option. They could just pay him the buyout and not pick up his option, which is basically now the exact same amount they’re paying him by releasing him. I don’t think they save any money whatsoever doing what they did.
stan lee the manly
Unless I’m mistaken, his contract did not include any buyouts. He very well may have requested they release him so he could try to pitch somewhere for the last month if the Brewers has already decided not to use him the rest of the year and they did so with the hopes that showing him some good faith would make him more susceptible to resigning for much less.
Whatever the reason, this is about not paying him $4.3 mil, so they save that money by not committing to it for next year.
It might not have included buyouts, in which case releasing him definitely didn’t save them any money unless someone does pick him up, then they regain $555K.
Yes. You missed the proper spot for the period.
He probably requested it. You’re right the brewers don’t gain anything from this move. But they probably already said they weren’t going to use him this year.
Red Sox need pen help and weed is legal.
stan lee the manly
So are a lot of steroids, but that doesn’t mean MLB approves them.
You aren’t aware that MLB doesn’t test for weed?
There are a lot of MLB players using weed. I’m sure this guy is still using. Remember the Cleveland closer a few years back?
No penalty in MLB for weed, only in the minors.
stan lee the manly
MLB does test for weed if there is probable cause. There is also a fine if you are caught using. It is, however, a small fine relative to the MLB min. salary and there is no suspension like there is in the minors.
MLB prefers to ignore it as I’m sure they want to distance themselves from all of the negative drug press after all of the steroid stuff, but the testing and penalties are still there if they decide to do it.
I’m a big baseball fan and I also like football. Maybe I’m alone in this, but whenever I see an MLB player get a steroid suspension I feel like it’s a huge deal and it’s reported on. But NFL guys get hit all the time and you don’t really hear about it and there’s not really that stigmatizism like there is in baseball.
The Rays can fix him
So can my vet.
Somebody let David Bell know he’s already ruined! No need to make it worse.