Kansas City Royals: Team should claim Jeremy Jeffress off waivers

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The former Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Jeffress was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday. A reunion is in order.

Jeremy Jeffress, who spent two seasons with the Kansas City Royals, was designated for assignment by the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday just one year removed from his terrific 2018 season. The 31-year old was a reliable arm in the back end of the Brewers bullpen last season, striking out 89 batters in 73 appearances all to the tune of a 1.29 ERA.

His efforts earned him an All-Star selection. Jeffress tossed a 3.82 ERA in the first half of this season but really struggled in the second half, allowing opponents to bat 0.333 off him in 16.2 innings. He has not been able to stay healthy this season and is currently on the injured list. There is a potential he could return this season but the move would be for the long-term.

He’s been dealing with a strained left hip recently and right shoulder weakness in Spring Training, which could have attributed to his poor pitching but he could be a valuable arm in this bullpen going forward. Jeffress will be 32 when the 2020 season begins and should be relatively inexpensive to sign.

The former Royal spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the team and made 27 appearances between the two seasons. As a Royal, Jeffress tossed 28.2 innings and struck out 26 batters but struggled with his command during his time here.

He appears to have gotten those issues figured out and, if he can overcome these injuries that have hampered his 2019 season, he would be a welcome addition to a bullpen that desperately needs help. Really the only two relievers that don’t seem to implode are Scott Barlow and Ian Kennedy.

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Jeffress’ velocity on his fastball has been down this season with an average velocity of 93.8 mph. Last season, his primary pitch was sitting over 95 mph. His shoulder weakness tells me that he was overutilized in Milwaukee last season and a full offseason of rest could do him well.