Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Milwaukee Brewers announced the club has agreed to a minor-league deal with former first round draft pick Jeremy Jeffress.
Jeffress, 26, was released by the Toronto Blue Jays this week after giving up four earned runs in 3.1 innings out of the bullpen. Jeffress has appeared in 50 Major League games, posting a 4.47 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP.
“He still has that plus arm that you can’t find everywhere,” Brewers assistant GM Gord Ash said. “So the opportunity to collect a player with this skill set, especially at no acquisition fee, is intriguing to us. We have the history with him, obviously. We know him better than most, so we know what his support system needs to be. I think it’s a good risk.”
The hard-throwing righty was the No. 16 overall pick by the Brewers in the 2006 draft. But drug abuse stalled his career and eventually ended his time in Milwaukee. He was suspended 50 games for marijuana use in 2007 and suspended 100 games in 2009 after a third positive test. One more positive test would mean a lifetime ban for Jeffress.
The Brewers traded Jeffress, along with a handful of other prospects to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Zack Greinke in 2010.
Jeffress will report to Triple-A Nashville as a reliever.