Brewers News

Brewers Make Trade For More Bullpen Depth From Cleveland Guardians

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: J.C. Mejia #36 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 17: J.C. Mejia #36 of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on September 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers have been active in the early going of the offseason so far. President of baseball ops David Stearns has made yet another move to boost his roster.

In the early afternoon on Monday, it was reported that the Milwaukee Brewers acquired reliever J.C. Mejia from the Cleveland Guardians in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. The Athletic’s Will Sammon was first with the report.

Milwaukee’s newest reliever made his MLB debut in 2021 and it didn’t go particularly well. In 52.1 IP, Mejia had a 8.25 ERA with a 1.60 WHIP. He appeared in 17 games, making 11 starts for the injury-riddled Cleveland rotation in 2021.

The Milwaukee Brewers acquired a young reliever in J.C. Mejia to add to their bullpen depth, and a developmental arm.

While the first glance numbers aren’t great, there’s a lot to work with here. Mejia has a great slider with plenty of movement that draws a lot of swings and misses.

In recent years, the Brewers have shown a knack for developing these types of arms with nasty pitches. By putting Mejia through the Crew’s pitching lab and having pitching coach Chris Hook work with him, the Brewers should be able to turn Mejia into a valuable reliever.

Batters whiff 41.7% of the time against Mejia’s slider, and Milwaukee is likely to have him focus more on that pitch and using it more. While he was used primarily as a starter with Cleveland last year, given his lack of success in that role, his pitch profile, and the Brewers own depth in the rotation, Mejia is a likely reliever going forward.

Statcast’s most similar pitchers to Mejia based on velocity and movement are Logan Webb, Carlos Martinez, Pablo Lopez, Tanner Houck, and Marcus Stroman. Those are all very successful pitchers, and Mejia has a similar pitch profile. Under the right tutelage, he can find success like those pitchers have and the Brewers clearly believe they can provide that for him.

Mejia just turned 25 years old and has several years of team control remaining. Mejia also has a 4th option granted to him, so the Brewers would be able to option him to the minors in 2022 if they so desire.

In exchange for Mejia, the Brewers only have to give up either a player to be named later or some cash considerations. Whatever player is sent to Cleveland, if there is one, is not likely to be a big prospect.

dark. Next. Brewers 2021-2022 Complete Offseason Preview

The Brewers bullpen was dealing with depth issues throughout 2021, and that’s something that Stearns clearly wants to avoid in 2022. He’s already signed Trevor Gott and Hobie Harris to help with that depth this month.

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