In what will probably be some of the least shocking news we get from the Brewers this offseason, Adam McCalvy says the team will be exercising it’s team option on Jeremy Jeffress, bringing him back for $3.175 million next season.
No surprise here: The Brewers have picked up Jeremy Jeffress’ $3.175 million club option for 2019, per a source.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) October 31, 2018
Even if the Brewers had declined their team option on Jeffress, he still likely would have been around next season, as he would’ve had one year of arbitration left remaining. Considering the way Jeffress excelled in the bullpen this year — arguably becoming more valuable than Josh Hader, depending on how you want to look at it — picking up the option actually probably saves the team some money.
Jeffress posted a ridiculous 1.29 ERA over 73 innings for the Brewers, effectively serving as the team’s fireman reliever to shut down opposing rallies anywhere between the 5th and 8th inning before settling into the traditional closer’s role when Corey Knebel went through his bout of ineffectiveness.
In his first All-Star season, Jeffress ended up finishing 24 games and picking up 15 saves while striking out 89 batters in 76.2 innings. He ran into a cold streak of his own at an inopportune time, as both the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers were able to lay off the low split changeups and curves that led to so much of his success and sat on his fastballs.
It’s anyone’s guess at this point how the Brewers will use their bullpen in the 2019 season, but even with the postseason struggles, Jeffress figures to be a big part of any success the team hopes to have next year. Picking up the option was an easy call.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference