Yesterday, Robert Murray of the Athletic wrote that the Milwaukee Brewers were “in the hunt” for additional bullpen depth and that they had several standing offers out to myriad free agent relievers. He was apparently on to something, as this evening Murray is reporting that the Brewers have agreed to a contract with right-handed veteran Jake Petricka:
It’s a split deal, sources tell The Athletic. Petricka has one minor-league option remaining. https://t.co/UHQHIUFSzw— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) January 9, 2019
Petricka, 30, was a 2nd-round pick by the White Sox back in 2010 and debuted at the big league level with Chicago in 2013. Since then he’s appeared in parts of six MLB campaigns with the White Sox (2013-17) and more recently the Blue Jays (2018), appearing in 222 games while tossing 223.2 innings with a 3.98 ERA and 6.9 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9. Field Independent Pitching (4.00 FIP, 97 FIP-) more or less agrees with that level of run prevention, though Deserved Run Average feels that Petricka has been a well below-average hurler at the big league level (5.38 DRA, 124 DRA-).
This past season in Toronto, Petricka totaled 45.2 innings during 41 outings, logging a 4.53 ERA with 41 strikeouts versus 16 walks. The Blue Jays elected to cut him loose after the season rather than pay him a raise on his $1.3 mil base salary.
The financial terms of Petricka’s deal have not yet been reported, but it stands to reason that his MLB base salary will be lower than what he earned in Toronto last season. His remaining minor league option means that Petricka will likely be one of Milwaukee’s “shuttle” relievers next year, moving back and forth from AAA San Antonio as necessary.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus