Relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress has been out of baseball since his release from the Washington Nationals in March.
Before his initial release, Jeffress and the Nationals had agreed to a minor league contract ahead of spring training. The team informed him that he would be allowed to compete for a spot in the bullpen ahead of Opening Day.
To his surprise, the Nat’s relieved him of his duties after only 13 days of service, which raised eyebrows across the league. Fans and pundits wanted to know the reasoning behind the quick release as the start of the season was less than a month away.
After displaying such dominance with the Chicago Cubs, in 2020, the 33-year-old right-hand reliever had teams vying for his services in the offseason.
Saving eight games for the Cubs, he finished the pandemic shortened season with an ERA of 1.54 in 23 1/3 innings pitched. You can’t have talent like that sitting on the sidelines. No way.
His time in the Nation’s Capital is still head-scratching for most, like the opportunity to showcase his talents became null and void in the blink of an eye.
Could the incidents in his dark checkered past have come to light?
After achieving every baseball player’s dream of being drafted to the league in 2006, Jeffress has found himself in multiple run-ins with the law.
According to reports, he received suspensions for violating Minor League Baseball’s substance abuse policy in 2007, causing him to serve 50 games. He served 100 games in 2009 for the same offense. Both incidents did not involve performance-enhancing drugs.
During his time with the Kansas City Royals, authorities received a call for domestic violence, disorderly conduct, assault, and criminal damage from his then-girlfriend as both parties engaged in an argument that escalated. The plaintiff later dropped all the charges for this incident.
In 2018 Jeffress pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated during his stint with the Texas Rangers during the 2016 season. He received a sentence of three days in jail, in which he received credit for time served.
In July of the same year, Jeffress made his first career All-Star team. While living up to the nickname Bread & Butter, he served up cats as he achieved an ERA of 0,99 while also adding a 0.84 WHIP in 44 mound appearances.
Jeffress told MLB.com about the accomplishment, “It just means that I know I can overcome anything that I go through because I have been through so much. To start the year with a great first half, and to be in this moment right now, and words can’t express how I feel.”
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) July 13, 2018
He went on to say, “All the guys believed in me, and they knew from the first day that the results came out that I should have been on there. It is the fact that they stuck behind me. Just kept believing in me and kept giving me advice saying, ‘Continue doing what you are doing, and people will notice your ability.”
And notice is what Washington did when they signed Jeffress this offseason. The organization knew of his past and still gave him a contract.
Front Office Executive/General Manager Mike Rizzo spoke on the situation by providing a very indeterminate response for the quick release by saying it was due to a “personal matter.”
Jeffress took to Twitter to express his frustration over the situation while also pointing the blame at his former agent when he said, “The fact that my ex-agent has ruined my chances on playing this season is killing me. I want to sign with anyone but going home would be a blessing.”
Home for what I believe should be the Milwaukee Brewers as this is the franchise Jeffress had his best years with. With the Brew Crew, his career ERA is 2.66 and 4.76 everywhere else.
We understand that the Brewers have the reigning National League Rookie of the year/National League Reliever of the year award winner Devin Williams. Still, you can never have too much of a good thing, and looking at the numbers, Jeffress would be a perfect fit to get them over the hump.