Milwaukee Brewers: Jared Hughes signs with Reds

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 16: Jared Hughes /

Reliever Jared Hughes is now a former Brewer. The 32-year old right-hander signed a two-year deal worth $4.5 million with the Cincinnati Reds. Where does this leave the Brewers GM David Stearns and his search for relief pitching?

The writing was on the wall when the Milwaukee Brewers declined to offer Jared Hughes a contract for the 2018 season. It’s not unheard of for teams to re-sign players after releasing them, but in this case it was obvious Hughes wouldn’t return to Milwaukee.

How did Hughes do with the Brewers?

Hughes only lasted a single season with the Brewers. He appeared in 67 games and logged a 3.02 ERA. He struck out 48, and walked 24 while giving up four homers. Hughes did manage to steal a save, and picked up five wins in relief.

Hughes is solid against right-handers, but often ran into difficulty with lefties. He posted .371 wOBA against when facing a left-hander.

Where does this leave the Brewers bullpen?

They’re in need of arms right now. Closer Corey Knebel, Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader, and Jacob Barnes are the only names that are locks to start the season on the Major League roster. Hader could slide into the starting rotation, making the need for competent arms even more important.

If the rumored Boone Logan signing is completed, that leaves the Milwaukee Brewers still needing to fill two slots in their bullpen.

The loser of the fifth starter battle between Hader, Yovani Gallardo, Junior Guerra, and Brent Suter could fill one spot. However, Suter likely needs to win a starting role to make the club. It’s unlikely the Milwaukee Brewers will carry three left-handers in their bullpen.

The Brewers have also added a few guys on Minor League deals, but most are ticketed to start the season with Colorado Springs in Triple-A.

Who’s still available? for the bullpen

Lots of guys are still looking for homes. Most of the big names that the Milwaukee Brewers could target are already covered. There are options still on the market. Brewers GM David Stearns is likely slow playing the market to see who can be had for less than full market value. It’s clear that he’s not looking to commit dollars or years to solving the bullpen issue at this point.

Next: Who's the eighth inning guy for the Brewers?

While seeing Hughes find a new home while the Brewers search for arms is concerning, it’s not the end of the world. There are still more than six weeks before pitchers and catchers report, and the Brewers are going to sign someone at some point. It’s time to worry only if the team is heading to Arizona with the current group of arms. There’s still a lot of moves left to be made.