CHICAGO (AP)The Chicago Cubs are taking another low-risk chance on an oft-injured reliever, agreeing to an $850,000, one-year contract with Jeremy Jeffress.
The 32-year-old Jeffress can earn an additional $200,000 in incentives. A person with direct knowledge of the situation confirmed the deal Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the move had not been announced.
The Cubs have been unusually quiet this winter after missing the playoffs last year for the first time since 2014. But they agreed to a minor league deal with Brandon Morrow in December, bringing back the closer after he missed last season while he struggled to return from right elbow surgery.
Jeffress was one of baseball’s most dominant relievers in 2018, making the All-Star team for the first time while going 8-1 with a 1.29 ERA and 15 saves for Milwaukee. The right-hander made a career-high 73 appearances for the NL Central champions, and then pitched in eight games in the playoffs.
Jeffress was slowed by right shoulder weakness during spring training last year. He also spent time on the injured list with a strained left hip before he was cut by the Brewers on Sept. 1.
He finished 2019 with a 3-4 record and a 5.02 ERA in 48 games.
Jeffress was selected by Milwaukee in the first round of the 2006 draft and made his major league debut with the Brewers in 2010. He is 28-11 with a 3.16 ERA in 392 career games with Milwaukee, Texas, Kansas City and Toronto.
Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap
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