Only a Cub for the shortened 2020 season, I sure did come to like Jeremy Jeffress quickly.
It wasn’t just that his results were strong, it was that he was just so darn pliable in the bullpen. He went in out and out of situations and roles, all the while showing the stones not to be bothered. He seemed like a good guy, too.
But with the Cubs’ bullpen efforts loading them up early on with flyers, and then subsequent guaranteed additions for Brandon Workman and Andrew Chafin, it seemed pretty darn unlikely that there was going to be a reunion. Moreover, the Cubs opted to bring back old friend Pedro Strop on a minor league deal, so the chances of another vet seeing this particular spot as a great opportunity wasn’t great.
Thus, no surprise – Jeremy Jeffress is moving on to a bullpen where he’s got a much better shot at winning a job:
Jeffress would earn $1.25 million with another potential $1.25 million in performance bonuses if he makes the Nationals' roster. https://t.co/8t06xIFXXY
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) February 22, 2021
That price tag. I mean, even if Jeffress makes the Nationals, which he probably will, they’re getting a steal. I know that the peripherals do not love Jeffress, but we’ve talked about how he’s long been a peripheral beater even after his velocity receded. He may not be a back-end guy, but a solid middle reliever on the cheap and a good presence in your clubhouse? Good get for the Nationals.
Ultimately, I don’t really have a beef with the Cubs choosing Workman (higher upside) and Strop (even more familiarity and a lower big league cost), but I know a lot of folks will be bummed that Jeffress isn’t coming back on such a bargain. Good luck to him.