Former Milwaukee Brewers reliever Tyler Thornburg is a free agent after refusing a Minor League assignment. Could the Brewers reunite with their former relief ace?
Tyler Thornburg ended his relationship with the Boston Red Sox when he declined an optional assingment to the Minors. The Red Sox may have released him, but it was the refusal that expedited his eventual release.
The Milwaukee Brewers need extra arms in their bullpen. Should they look to bring Thornburg back in to the fold?
How did Thornburg perform with the Brewers?
He was good enough to get traded? Thornburg posted a career year in 2016 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Thornburg worked 67 games, and managed a 2.15 ERA. In 67 innings, Thornburg struck out 90, walked 25, and was tagged for six homers. He was also traded to Boston in the off season for Josh Pennington, Yeison Coca, Mauricio Dubon, and Travis Shaw.
How about Thornburg’s time in Boston
It…didn’t go very well.
Thornburg came down with shoulder issues before the start of 2017, and eventually required surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. The surgery cost Thornburg all of 2017 and part of the 2018 season. He did return in 2018, and appeared in 25 games for the Red Sox, and posted a 5.63 ERA.
What about this year?
Thornburg made 16 appearances early in the year, but was diagnosed with a hip impingement in late May. He started a 30-day rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket in early June. In Triple-A, Thornburg posted a 12.66 ERA in 10 2/3 innings. His rehab assignment ended, and he was assigned to Triple-A. Thornburg refused the assignment, and the Red Sox handed him his release.
Should the Brewers gamble on Thorbnurg
The Milwaukee Brewers recently added Drew Smyly, so why not go for another reclamation project in Thornburg? There’s a non-zero chance that Thornburg could find himself again with the team that he experienced the most success in his professional career. It worked for Jeremy Jeffress, right?
The key with Thornburg is health. If the Milwaukee Brewers bring Thornburg into the fold, they have to know the status of his hip and his shoulder. The move also depends on Thornburg’s willingness to work out his issues in Triple-A. He didn’t want to stay in Pawtucket, and it’s not yet clear if he’s willing to work through his struggles in the Minors. A ‘Major League deal or bust’ stance would likely prevent the Brewers from adding Thornburg.