It looks like we have our first Brewers non-tender of the day, and it isn’t Jonathan Schoop.
Robert Murray of The Athletic is reporting that Milwaukee is not expected to offer left-handed reliever Dan Jennings a contract for next season.
#Brewers expected to non-tender Dan Jennings, sources tell The Athletic.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) November 30, 2018
Jennings made $750,000 with the Brewers this season after being let go by Tampa Bay at the end of Spring Training, before they were due the full $2.375 million he got through arbitration last winter. MLB Trade Rumors projected Jennings’ arbitration total to be $1.6 million this winter.
Manager Craig Counsell leaned on Jennings heavily early in the season, appearing in nearly half of the team’s first 81 games, often asked to bridge the gap between the starter and the dominant back end of the Brewers’ bullpen.
But as the season wore on, Jennings’ effectiveness slipped, as did his appearances as the team acquired Xavier Cedeno and Joakim Soria in the second half. Despite Counsell frequently using him to pitch full innings, the results showed letting Jennings face right-handed batters was a big risk. Righties ended up hitting .320/.399/.528 against him in 2018, a problem made worse by his inability at times to get strike calls at the edges of the strike zone. He was ultimately left off the postseason roster in favor of Cedeno.
Jennings will likely find work somewhere else fairly easily — it’s good to be left-handed — but it doesn’t appear he fit into the stable of 12 pitchers the Brewers are likely to carry next season, especially if Counsell and David Stearns look to stay flexible in the bullpen with a variety of multi-inning options.