Freely* Available Talent is a recurring feature here on BCB, looking at players who other teams are making available that could potentially help this team.
The news: As noted in this morning's Frosty Mug, the Yankees designated righthanded reliever Cory Wade for assignment. Wade is 29 and is coming off a tough season with New York, where he posted a 6.46 ERA over 39 relief appearances.
2012 was Wade's fourth major league season, and overall he has a 3.65 ERA over 177.2 innings, striking out around seven while walking around two batters per nine innings. If he's claimed he'd be arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter, and won't be eligible for free agency until the offseason following the 2015 season at the earliest.
Could he help this team? I think there's a chance he could. Obviously Wade's 6.46 ERA will scare some people away, but he also struck out nearly nine batters per nine this season while walking just 1.8. Wade's 2012 FIP (fielding independent pitching, a statistic designed to remove luck from pitching numbers) was only 4.50, and his xFIP (taking FIP a step further) was 3.65.
Wade only threw 39 major league innings this season, so some of his bad numbers could be attributable to bad luck. Consider these numbers:
Wade doesn't have spectacular stuff (his fastball sits in the high 80's), but he does throw strikes and if we've learned anything this season it's the value of a reliever who consistently throws strikes.
There's nothing spectacular about Wade. He's unlikely to become a future closer and he won't blow anyone away in middle relief. But if the Brewers are serious about overhauling their bullpen this winter, Wade would give them another option to consider next spring.
What do I think the Brewers should do? I'd claim Wade off waivers. The 40-man roster is full at this point but still contains several pending free agents (Livan Hernandez and Yorvit Torrealba, among others) and a few guys like Hector Gomez who could probably be removed without getting claimed.