In the first game of 162, Josh Hader was utilized for a two-inning save. It would be a surprise to see him again before game four of the series with the Cardinals as manager Craig Counsell is not apt to over pitch his greatest bullpen weapon. While Matt Albers and Chase Anderson pitched reasonably well in the second game of the season, the rest of the bullpen failed in shutting down the Cardinals’ offense and most especially, Paul Goldschmidt.
Every Brewers’ fan knows at this point Corey Knebel is out for the rest of the season and maybe a good portion of 2020 due to Tommy John surgery. Jeremy Jeffress is on his way back, but there has to be uncertainty around 2018’s best high leverage pitcher (except during the playoffs). The Brewers’ bullpen is not optimal right now. What could change that quickly is the signing of arguably the best closer in the history of the game.
Jeremy Jeffress is pitching every three days right now, so next outing is Saturday. He’s a couple of weeks away, David Stearns said on Opening Day.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 29, 2019
Rumors continue to circulate around the potential union between Craig Kimbrel and Milwaukee. The latest report does nothing to dispel the rumors. Per Jon Paul Morosi the Brewers continue to have ongoing conversations with Kimbrel’s agent.
Report: Brewers having ongoing conversations with Kimbrel - theScore https://t.co/D5DrTjP5Fz— David Gibson (@DrDavidGibson) March 30, 2019
The rumors swirling around Kimbrel persist even as the Brewers continue to downplay them. And all of this may be much ado about nothing. Recently, Robert Murray of the Athletic indicated the Brewers front office was pessimistic about a deal getting done. However, David Stearns seems to leave the door open, and a lot of folks are building that up (maybe more than it should be).
#Brewers GM David Stearns, when asked about Kimbrel: "I mean, I’m not going to talk about any specific player. Clearly, if there are players out there who are going to make us better, we’re going to investigate it. But I’m not going to go into any more than that.”— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 29, 2019
Entering the offseason, Kimbrel rejected a qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox, and was reported to be seeking a contract in the neighborhood of 6-years, $100 million. The Brewers won’t be paying that price tag, but it is reasonable to surmise that his asking price has come down. As with Yasmani Grandal, many teams may have shied from Kimbrel because of the draft pick compensation that goes with signing him. That impacts the Brewers less than most teams as they signed Grandal already and gave up a 3rd rounder to do it. If they signed Kimbrel, only a fourth round draft pick would be sent to the Red Sox.
The idea of a one year contract with a mutual option for a second year has to be something the Kimbrel camp would consider. Basically do the Grandal deal with Kimbrel. Kimbrel gets to enter the 2020 free agent class without draft pick compensation attached. He helps the Brewers to a World Series title (maybe...hopefully), and goes back on the market more appealing than he was this offseason. It is a classic Brewers’ win-win deal. Is Kimbrel game?
These damm TJ surgeries .... add @Brewers RH Corey Knebel to the list... will miss remainder of 2019 season. Fought his way back into the “mix” in late August. Bullpen depth will be challenged now. Kimbrel? Not my $$ to spend - but I’d seriously think about it. pic.twitter.com/7WcLAG3nQs— Dan Plesac (@Plesac19) March 29, 2019