It’s Official, the Milwaukee Brewers have signed relief pitcher Neftali Feliz.
The Milwaukee Brewers have found there closer for 2017. Adam McCalvy has reported that the deal is for one year 5.35 million. This deal is not a surprise. It was widely reported that this was close to happening over the last few days. It is not a big name signing by any means, but I think the Brewers found good value here.
I was an advocate for the Brewers to gamble on Greg Holland. This signing is along those same lines, but even more low risk and high reward. There are similarities between the two players. Holland is coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2015. Neftali Feliz had Tommy John in 2012, and pitched less than 40 innings through 2014.
Feliz began to regain his old form in 2016. He put up a 3.52 ERA, 4.53 FIP over 53.2 innings. He also struck out 10.23 per nine innings. There are some red flags, as his high FIP would suggest. Feliz benefited from an extremely low BABIP of .240, obviously this is not sustainable. He also gave up 10 home runs in the pitcher friendly environment of PNC park, 1.68 per nine innings.
If Feliz can limit damage from the long ball, the Brewers should get good bang for their buck. If he performs well in the first half, he could be another candidate to flip for (you guessed it) young controllable talent.
In many ways this is a typical David Stearns move. Stearns makes low risk “under the radar” moves with hopes to find talent that other teams miss. In-fact, with the current value of high leverage relievers, I would not mind another bullpen signing along these lines (ahem, Greg Holland). I doubt it will happen, but a man can dream.
This signing makes the Brewers better in the near term, without compromising the focus on the future.