Brewers add to dominant bullpen by acquiring ground ball machine Alex Claudio in trade with Rangers
Texas received a draft pick in the trade
The reigning NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers have added another piece to their already dominant bullpen.
Claudio, 26, is a funky low-velocity left-hander -- he operates with a mid-80 fastball and a dead fish low-70s changeup -- who generates a ton of ground balls. Here is the ground ball leaderboard among pitchers with at least 200 innings pitched from 2016-18:
- Alex Claudio: 63.5 percent
- Marcus Stroman: 61.3 percent
- Clayton Richard: 59.3 percent
- Jeremy Jeffress: 58.6 percent
- Blake Treinen: 58.4 percent
In 202 2/3 innings over the last three years Claudio managed a 3.24 ERA with a 5.8 K/9, so ground balls are his thing, not strikeouts. He has also been far more effective against lefties (.194/.220/.278) than righties (.313/.357/.440) in his big league career to date, so, for all intents and purposes, Claudio is a left-on-left ground ball specialist.
The Brewers already have a stacked bullpen, one they rode to the NLCS this past season. This is what their relief unit currently looks like with Claudio in the mix:
- Closer: RHP Corey Knebel
- Setup: LHP Josh Hader, RHP Jeremy Jeffress
- Middle: RHP Matt Albers, RHP Jacob Barnes, RHP Corbin Burnes, LHP Alex Claudio
- Long: RHP Junior Guerra
Claudio is under team control through 2021 as an arbitration-eligible player, so this was not a short-term pickup. The Brewers added a player with long-term control to their bullpen.
As for the Rangers, that competitive balance pick currently slots in as the 40th overall selection. That will change slightly as picks are gained and lost through free agent compensation this winter.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Here is everything you need to know about the day in baseball
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's Cardinals vs. Braves matchup 10,000...
Blame the ball, blame the launch angle revolution. Whatever it is, home runs are being hit...
Keuchel and Kimbrel will no longer be attached to draft pick compensation in nine days
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Saturday's Yankees vs. Royals matinee 10,000...
SportsLine's Mike McClure, a DFS pro with nearly $2M in winnings, gives optimal lineup adv...