Brewers: 5 Budget Free Agent Targets To Consider

Jedd Gyorko, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Jedd Gyorko, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – SEPTEMBER 08: Jimmy Nelson #52 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the ninth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 08, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

RHP Jimmy Nelson

Is it time to bring Jimmy Nelson home? It would be the perfect time to sign him for a chance to compete again. After signing with the Dodgers, the team declined his option and he became a free agent after another season was plagued by injuries.

Nelson didn’t hit the mound at all in 2020. He had lower back surgery back in July and was out the entire shortened season. This means that he has a lot more rust on him, but also means he has a lot of extra time to heal and train.

No one is more primed for a comeback season than Jimmy. He has a history in Milwaukee, and would cost the team next to nothing to give him a chance and a shot during Spring Training. It could turn into a similar scenario from 2018 when the Brewers signed Yovani Gallardo and later released him.

But, what if Nelson makes an amazing comeback and becomes the Brewers fifth starting pitcher? What a story. I truly believe he has another season in him like 2017. He went 12-6 with 3.5 ERA. Getting anywhere close to that would be huge for Milwaukee and the starting rotation.

And spending $1MM to see what he still has doesn’t hurt.

RHP Chris Archer

After years of rumors that the Brewers could trade for Chris Archer, Milwaukee might now have a chance to sign him without giving anything up except a few million. With lots of teams cutting corners, Archer might slip through the cracks and take a one year offer from a competitive team. The Brewers fit that mold, and after free agent pitchers start to get signed, he’s a sneaky sign that Stearns could pull off.

His last few years hasn’t been great, but a good pitcher can still pitch. In 2018, Archer was 6-8 with a 4.31 ERA. In 2019, he went 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA.

Just like Nelson, Archer didn’t take the mound in 2020. Although Archer missed time due to neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome, which causes numbness in the fingers. But was his injury the cause of those declining years?

There is a good chance that after coming off of injury, the 32 year old is nowhere near his Cy Young type of stuff. But, Milwaukee still has a rotation to fill. Plus, it would make a bunch of Pirates fans mad, so that’s always fun to see. A new team and place to call home sometimes is all you need to help a pitcher improve or get back to form.

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Also, do you really want to see a team like the Cubs or Cardinals sign him and he ends up pitching great? You sure don’t.