The Milwaukee Brewers have made an addition to their bullpen that has seen its depth depleted in recent days with injuries.
This was not the move most of us expected to see them make, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad move.
Who Is Alex Wilson?
Alex Wilson was in spring training with the Cleveland Indians until recently. He had an opt out date on Thursday and chose to opt out after he was informed that he would not make the Opening Day roster. So far this spring, Wilson had a 2.16 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP in 8.1 innings of work with the Tribe.
Wilson, 32, spent the first six years of his career with the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers. He has a career 3.23 ERA over those six seasons and posted three straight sub-3.00 ERA years from 2014-2016.
The right-hander has been a workhorse in recent years, pitching 60+ innings in each of the last four seasons, all with the Tigers.
Wilson doesn’t strike out many hitters, as evidenced by his career 6.0 K/9. But he pitches to contact and is a ground ball pitcher. He has a career 44.8% ground ball rate.
For his career, Wilson only has four saves, and isn’t regarded as a late-inning option, pitching mostly in the 6th or 7th inning, occasionally in the 8th.
What Does His Contract Look Like?
It’ll be a small contract, and he’ll be able to earn more money with incentives that are likely based off of appearances or innings pitched. Just another cheap addition towards the end of camp that won’t have a major impact on the payroll.
Where Does He Fit In?
Wilson did sign a major league deal, so he is expected to join the club for the season and since he was just released yesterday and has a full spring training under his belt, Wilson will likely make the Opening Day roster.
He’ll add to the depth in this bullpen that’s been depleted a little bit, and he’ll gobble up some innings. Wilson’s proven to be very effective at that over the past couple years. He fits perfectly in the spot that Bobby Wahl would’ve occupied before he tore his ACL.
What Does This Mean For Craig Kimbrel?
The money being given to Wilson will not prevent the Crew from finding enough money to pay Craig Kimbrel, should that be their course of action. Wilson also does not pitch in the ninth inning, meaning the door is as open for Kimbrel as ever.
This signing has little to no impact on the future of the Milwaukee Brewers pursuit of Kimbrel. That pursuit may not even end with an agreement, but it’s the talk of the town right now.
The only impact this could possibly have on the Kimbrel negotiations is to dampen the leverage that Kimbrel has on the Brewers right now. With another bullpen arm in the mix, the situation isn’t as dire as it was before this signing. Even then, the potential impact that will have on Kimbrel and his agent is minimal at best.
The Brewers are finalizing their roster for Opening Day, and Wilson is the latest in a long line of relievers that David Stearns has added at the end of Spring Training.