Let’s keep adding to the list of players that the Brewers are interested in. This time, it’s more than just interest. There are “talks” going on between the two teams.
Sources: #Brewers in talks with #WhiteSox about right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 25, 2017
Anthony Swarzak signed with the White Sox this offseason, signing a deal for $900,000 for one season. He has bounced around a few organizations in the past few years. After being drafted by the Twins, he spent his first several seasons with them before being granted free agency following the 2014 season. He then started the 2015 season with the Indians before finishing the season in the minors. In 2016, he started with the Yankees minor-league team, but earned a promotion mid-season. In 2017, he signed with the White Sox and has been pitching well for them.
So far this season, Swarzak has recorded a 2.23 ERA and 2.34 FIP. The key for him has been reducing his home run count, dropping from 2.90 HR/9 in 2016 to 0.37 this season. His strikeout rate has remained steady over the last few years (9.68 K/9 this season), and his walk rate is decent as well (2.42 BB/9). He mainly throws a fastball and a slider, though both have seen velocity increases over the course of his career. Between 2011 and 2017, his fastball increased from an average 92.1 MPH to 94.9 MPH, and his slider jumped from 81.3 MPH to 87.0 MPH.
Even though the results have been great this season, this would not be much more than a rental for the Brewers, since Swarzak would be a free agent at the end of the season. Considering his past struggles, it’s unlikely that the Brewers would be willing to part with any significant prospects here. However, if his numbers are legit, Swarzak could be an upgrade to this bullpen and help solidify it.
If what Ken Rosenthal says is true, the Brewers may be closer to acquiring him than some of the other players that have been reported recently. We will have to wait and see how this plays out.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs.