Don’t count out the Brewers adding a starter or two this offseason. Here are three who would make sense to target in free agency.
With all the focus on what offensive players the Brewers should add during the offseason, what often gets overlooked is the pitching. That’s easy to do considering they had one of the better pitching performances in the league with the whole staff finishing 4th in MLB with a 9.2 fWAR.
The starting rotation was a huge part of that, finishing 4th in MLB themselves with a combined 6.4 fWAR. But as good as they were, they still head into 2021 with some questions.
How do they replace Brett Anderson, who became a free agent after signing just a one-year contract for 2020? Does Adrian Houser bounce back to remain in the rotation in 2021? Does Freddy Peralta remain in the bullpen or finally get another shot to become a full-time starter?
Between those questions and the fact that it just never hurts to have multiple starting options, there’s a good chance the Brewers go shopping for at least one over the next few months. So here are three starters who it would make sense for them to go after.
RHP Julio Teheran
Looking at his numbers in 2020 – a 10.05 ERA over ten games (nine starts), a 1.755 WHIP, and a ratio of 20 strikeouts to 16 walks – it would be easy to want to pass on Julio Teheran at first glance. But there’s a big reason to think his first and only season as a Los Angeles Angel could be a temporary setback.
Teheran had his 2020 debut delayed due to testing positive for COVID-19 prior to the start of the season. With the time that it took for his symptoms to finally subside and finally stop testing positive for the virus, it pushed his debut all the way to August 5th.
Whether it was due to complications with the virus or not, Teheran never looked quite right in 2020. He never was able to pitch more than 78 pitches in any of his nine starts, never saw his ERA dip below 6.75, and saw his strikeout percentage drop all the way down to 13.4%, down from a career average of 20.6%.
The career numbers are much more inspring. Prior to 2020, Teheran had a career ERA of 3.67, a WHIP of 1.211, and a cumulative fWAR of 13.7 over nine seasons, all with the Atlanta Braves. He was an All-Star in 2014 and 2016 and finished 5th in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2013.
Teheran was on a one-year, $9MM contract with the Angels last season, so under normal circumstances he’d likely be out of Milwaukee’s price range. If they can get him on a one-year discount while he looks to rebuild value, though, it could be worth at least an inquiry.