After agreeing to their first guaranteed deal with Steven Souza Jr. last week, the Cubs have finally landed a pitcher on an MLB contract. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, the Cubs have signed 32-year-old righty Jeremy Jeffress to a one-year deal worth $850,000 with potential incentives that can earn him up to $200,000 more.
Reliever Jeremy Jeffress and the Chicago Cubs are in agreement on a one-year, $850,000 major league contract, sources familiar with the deal tell ESPN. Jeffress can earn an additional $200,000 based on games pitched.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 28, 2020
Jeffress, who just finished up his third stint with the Brewers, made the All-Star team in 2018 but was released on September 1, 2019 after posting a 5.02 ERA over 52 innings. His 3.95 FIP is an indication that he suffered from some bad luck and his 0.87 HR/9, while higher than his 0.67 career mark, showed that he can still keep the ball in the yard.
The marked drop in velocity is a little troubling, as Jeffress was sitting under 94 mph on the sinker after being at 95-96 over the previous few seasons. As long as he can keep the ball down and get outs on the ground while also limiting walks, though, Jeffress should be a serviceable addition to the bullpen. All things considered, he should be an adequate replacement for Brandon Kintzler, who signed with the Marlins.
In addition to his performance on the field, Jeffress has made headlines in the past for substance-related issues. His suspensions in 2007 and ‘09 we reportedly for marijuana, which wouldn’t be concerning in the least except that a third positive test could earn him a lifetime ban. Jeffress was also arrested for a DWI in August of 2016 to which he eventually pled guilty.
Jeremy Jeffress released a statement apologizing. Doesn't sidestep any of his issues. Here's wishing him luck. pic.twitter.com/obEzgLjG1Y
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 31, 2016
Here’s to hoping Jeffress has truly learned from his past mistakes and can return to form on the mound as well.