Reliever Neftali Feliz is finally in Brewers camp, getting to Maryvale nearly a week after his fellow pitchers after dealing with work visa issues before being able to leave his native Domincan Republic.
The 28-year-old righty is sitting at 99 career saves, and figures to be the Brewers' closer this season, but according to the AP, manager Craig Counsell won't make that official announcement just yet -- even if he's talking him up already.
"Neftali is going to get really important outs for us," Counsell said. "That's what we signed him to do."
"He's got a track record. What we saw last year was him getting back to the player that broke into the big leagues and was really a dynamic arm and reliever, and capable of great things."
"We felt last year he got back to the form that he had early in his career. He fought through some injuries. It affected him for a while, but the guy we saw last year was the guy that's been a dominant reliever."
Feliz finished last season on the disabled list with elbow soreness -- a potential red flag for a guy whose career was nearly derailed by Tommy John surgery -- but the Brewers felt comfortable enough to take a one-year gamble on him.
Feliz was one of General Manager David Stearns' rare major league signings this past winter, agreeing to a one-year, $5.35 million deal that allows for another potential $1.5+ million in incentives -- many of which are tied to games finished.
According to Cot's Contracts, on top of $75,000 for pitching in 64, 68, 72 and 76 games, Feliz will earn a quarter-million dollars each for getting the final out in 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 games.
Carlos Torres (2), Corey Knebel (2) and Jacob Barnes (1) are the only other pitchers on the Brewers roster who recorded a save last year.