Jeremy Jeffress is an underrated option the Angels can afford.
Of all the available relievers, the one nobody seems to be talking about is Jeremy Jeffress.
The right-hander is coming off a terrific bounce-back season with the Cubs after he struggled in 2019. If there were All-Star selections in 2020, Jeffress would have easily made the team. Jeffress allowed just two earned runs in his first 15 appearances last summer.
Jeremy Jeffress Last Three Seasons (4.1 WAR):
- 2018: (73 games) 1.29 ERA 3.30 K/BB 0.991 WHIP (All-Star)
- 2019: (48 games) 5.02 ERA 2.71 K/BB 1.365 WHIP
- 2020: (22 games) 1.54 ERA 1.43 K/BB 0.943 WHIP
If there is any downside to Jeffress’ game I’d say it’s the lack of strikeouts. Still, finding a way to get consistent outs is just as effective.
Last year, the Cubs got Jeffress on a one-year, $850K (non-prorated) deal. Talk about a bargain. It’s safe to say the 33-year old has earned a significant pay raise for the upcoming season.
This is just my projection, but if Bradley is earning $6 million for next season and Jeffress put up similar numbers, I’d expect he’d be asking for a similar deal. Given their age difference let’s say Jeffress can expect around $3-$4 million.
If you’ve ever seen him pitch, you’ll see the man has a bulldog mentality on the mound. An 11-year veteran, Jeffress gives off an aura of confidence that he is going to do everything possible to get a hitter out, and they won’t beat him. This is an intangible that will never show up in the box score, but I think it is just as valuable as most statistics.
Call it confidence, cockiness, or whatever you want, but this is a quality every professional pitcher needs to succeed. I mean, who wants a scared reliever coming into high-leverage situations? More importantly, this type of mindset from a veteran will rub off on the rest of the bullpen.