Former Milwaukee Brewers starter Mike Fiers was non-tendered by the Houston Astros today. Could he reunite with the Brew Crew this off season?
The Milwaukee Brewers could stand to add depth to their rotation for 2018. What are the odds they bring Fiers back into the fold?
How did Fiers do in Houston?
Well, Fiers is now a free-agent. How does it sound like it went? After tossing a no-hitter in his fourth start in an Astros uniform, it was all downhill from there for Fiers in Houston. In his three years in Houston, the Astros made the playoffs three times, finally winning the World Series in 2017. In all three trips to the post season, Fiers tossed exactly one inning of post season baseball in 2015.
After posting a 4.48 ERA in 168 2/3 innings in 2016, Fiers struggled through the 2017 season. He ended the year with a 5.22 ERA in 153 1/3 innings. In 2017, Fiers posted a K/9 of 8.57 with a BB/9 of 3.64. His 4.62 xFIP indicates that he really wasn’t that bad. However, the Astros simply couldn’t trust him in the starting rotation down the stretch. His final appearance on the mound in an Astros uniform was on September 13th.
Why did the Astros non-tender Fiers?
The Astros believed he wasn’t worth the $5.5 – 6.0 million he was going to get in arbitration. They also have a ridiculously deep rotation, and there was little chance Fiers was going to earn a starting spot.
Why would the Milwaukee Brewers want Fiers back?
Jimmy Nelson is still a few months away from even having a time table to a return. The Milwaukee Brewers also needed to add depth to their starting rotation before Nelson went out with an injury. If the Brewers bring back Fiers to fill-in for Nelson until he returns, he may work out.
Fiers has a track record of success in Miller Park. He owns a 3.62 ERA in 192 2/3 innings of work in Milwaukee. He’s also still the same guy he was when he left the Brewers, more or less. He’s never been a ‘radar gun guy.’ His fastball tops out in the low 90s, and he’s averaged 89.2 MPH for his career. He averaged 89.7 MPH last year. Fiers will turn 33 years old in 2018, but his repertoire is virtually unchanged.
Outside of his disastrous 2013 season, Fiers takes the ball every fifth day and gobbles up innings. He’s not a ‘top-of-the-rotation’ guy, but he can hold down the fifth starter’s role until Jimmy Nelson is back in the fold. The Milwaukee Brewers could do a lot worse than Fiers at the back end of their rotation.
Fiers will fill a slot in some team’s rotation for 2018. He won’t cost a ton in years or dollars, and he’s been reliable. If Fiers comes aboard, the Milwaukee Brewers still need to strengthen their rotation. They just won’t have to search for guys like Paolo Espino or Michael Blazek in Colorado Springs if they’re bitten by the injury bug.