Relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress was out of Major League Baseball in 2021, but has reportedly signed with an agency to represent him as he tries a comeback in 2022. Should the Colorado Rockies take a look at the 34-year-old right-hander?
According to FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray, Jeffress is ready to make a comeback attempt in 2022 after being released by the Washington Nationals during last spring training in what was a confusing move with little explanation. He eventually pitched for the Lexington Legends of the independent Atlantic League, allowing 20 hits in 22.1 innings and striking out 27 while walking 18. The high number of walks pushed the WHIP for Jeffress to 1.70 as his ERA sat at 6.45.
Those numbers are concerning, but Murray is reporting that Jeffress is still throwing at 96 mph. It’s a matter of whether he can pitch with control or not.
So should the Colorado Rockies take a chance on Jeremy Jeffress?
There are plenty of reasons why the Colorado Rockies might sign Jeffress to a minor league deal and see if he still has anything to offer. In 2020, he allowed just 10 hits in 23.1 innings with the Chicago Cubs. His WHIP was 0.943 but his walks per nine innings was at 4.6.
His year with the Cubs followed two-plus campaigns with the Milwaukee Brewers where he earned an All-Star Game nod in 2018 in a season where he earned 15 saves and posted a 1.29 ERA and 2.78 FIP while logging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.
If Jeffress pitches in MLB this season, it will mark his 12th campaign after being the 16th overall pick by the Brewers in the 2006 MLB draft. It has not always been smooth sailing for Jeffress, who was cited for a DWI when he was with the Texas Rangers in 2016 and failed three drug tests early in his career, losing numerous games to suspension.
There are plenty of reasons why the Rockies shouldn’t go after Jeffress, but this is a franchise that has taken chances in the past on potential reclamation projects. Jeffress will likely be highly motivated to prove those who feel his career is over wrong. Could that be enough for the Rockies to sign him to a minor league deal? If not the Rockies, expect some MLB team to take that chance on him in a low-risk, low-cost move.