According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Washington Nationals are among the ten teams interested in Jeremy Jeffress. Additionally,according to Feinsand, other interested teams include the Mets, Blue Jays, Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, LA Dodgers, and the Philadelphia Phillies.
It is interesting to see the Nationals linked to a reliever at this point in the offseason. Many rumors around the Washington Nationals have been about catchers, outfielders, and some other players.
If this is true, this might signal that GM Mike Rizzo has finished his lineup for 2021 after adding first baseman Josh Bell and OF Kyle Schwarber and is now looking at the pitching market as the next hole to fill in the list of spots that need to be filled.
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Jeffress had a 1.54 ERA for the Cubs in 2020 with a 6.6 K/9 and 4.09 FIP. He even managed to take away some save chances from Craig Kimbrel. Jeffress’ success has come from limiting home runs and getting lots of ground balls. His career HR/9 is just 0.7, and his career ground ball rate 56.6%.
Jeffress has been a reasonably reliable pitcher since 2014 but has also never been a very dominant reliever. One concerning trend is that his velocity has dropped three years in a row, and his peripherals might catch up to him in 2021.
Two Questions to think about:
1) Could Jeffress be moved from the bullpen to become a starter or at least given a chance to be a starter?
2) Could Jeffress be considered the other closer along with Daniel Hudson? Therefore, it makes sense to sign him?
Either way, as of now, we are less than a month away from Pitchers and catchers reporting!
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