Brewers free agent reliever target #9: RHP Nick Wittgren
Nick Wittgren, 30, has spent six seasons in the big leagues and has been a valuable reliever to this point in his career. Now finally in free agency, Wittgren will have his first chance to choose the team he wants to play for.
Wittgren had three consecutive strong seasons from 2018-2020 between Miami and Cleveland, posting a combined 2.97 ERA over those three years.
However, in 2021 Wittgren had a down season. He had a 5.05 ERA in 60 appearances last year, allowing a career-high 13 home runs. Still, he posts solid strikeout numbers and walk rates below 2.5 BB/9. If he can cut down on those home runs, he’d be an excellent addition to any bullpen.
Perhaps the Brewers will see something in Wittgren that, if he fixes, he can get back to being a trusted reliever. If they feel that’s there, he could be worth a pickup.
Brewers free agent reliever target #10: LHP Tony Watson
Finally, Tony Watson closes this list of Brewers bullpen targets. The 36 year old spent last season with the Angels and Giants, putting up a respectable 3.92 ERA combined, but he had a 2.96 ERA over the second half of the season with the Giants.
Watson keeps the exit velocities down, doesn’t allow a lot of hard contact, and doesn’t allow many free passes. He’s a solid, reliable, veteran left-hander that can fill innings in the bullpen and handle high leverage situations.
Watson could be the regular seventh inning setup man ahead of Devin Williams and Josh Hader, or he could be brought in to face a slate of left-handed batters that may come up. Craig Counsell would have no shortage of ways to use Watson out of the bullpen in Milwaukee. He’s remained productive into his mid-30s.
At this stage in his career, Watson is going to be looking at one year deals, finding the best situations for him year to year. For 2022, the Milwaukee Brewers might be a very attractive option for Watson.
There are a number of other relief options out there on the free agent market, but these 10 pitchers appear to be strong candidates for the Milwaukee Brewers to target to help fill out their bullpen once this lockout ends.