MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have made it a priority to add a left-handed option out of the bullpen, and they have found their man.
The club announced Friday they’ve signed veteran left-hander Tom Gorzelanny to a two-year contract. FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported that the deal is worth close to $6 million over the two years.
Gorzelanny, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Washington Nationals, posting a 2.88 ERA in 72 innings last season. He held left-handed hitters to just a .237 batting average, and 44 of Gorzelanny’s 45 appearances in 2012 came out of the bullpen.
A second-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, Gorzelanny struggled as a starter, but did have a good year in 2007, going 14-10 with a 3.88 ERA in 32 starts. Unable to match that year’s success, Gorzelanny was traded midseason to the Chicago Cubs in 2009.
In his first full year in Chicago, Gorzelanny went 7-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 29 games, with 23 starts in 2010. He was then traded to the Nationals the following offseason.
Milwaukee non-tendered Manny Parra, its only left-handed reliever last season, leaving a void in a critical spot. Gorzelanny fits the bill perfectly. Not only has he had success against left-handers in relief, Gorzelanny has been able to get right-handers out as well, something Brewers manager Ron Roenicke considers valuable.
Gorzelanny’s two-seam fastball averaged 90.7 miles per hour a year ago, according to FanGraphs.com. He also features a slider (80.7 miles per hour) that he threw 22 percent of the time last season and a changeup (84.2 miles per hour) thrown 14.5 percent of the time.
While the Brewers do plan to use Gorzelanny out of the bullpen, his history as a starter gives the club flexibility should the need for one arise during the course of the season.
In his career as a reliever, Gorzelanny is 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 114 innings, with left-handers hitting just .227 against him.
Gorzelanny, who was non-tendered by Washington earlier this offseason, joins John Axford, Burke Badenhop and Jim Henderson as safe bets to be in the rebuilt bullpen on Opening Day, with four spots left to fill.