The hunt for a new closer is over for the Brewers as the team signs free agent Neftali Feliz to a one year deal for $5.35 M and can earn an additional $1.5 M in incentives. After the Brewers dealt Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith, and Tyler Thornburg, it was known that it was time to rebuild the bullpen. In order to be a .500 team, the Brewers could not depend on the September call ups as a number of the bullpen arms were either injured or struggling. Former 2010 Rookie Of the Year has had struggles of his own, but the Brewers are one of the few teams to give him a closing opportunity.
After his All Star season in 2010, he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012 with a slow recovery and the Brewers are betting on him to be healthy in order to anchor the bullpen. As he recovered, he added to his velocity and got his fastball back up to the high 90’s which is always good news. The Brewers should monitor his arm in Spring Training and he may require an innings limit, but as of now his arm is structurally sound. After giving up a career high 10 home runs last season with a 3.52 ERA, he is looking for a bounce back new opportunity with the Brewers.
Feliz hits the free agent market next winter and the Brewers can use that to their advantage. This opens up the opportunity for the Brewers to either rebuild the bullpen around Feliz or use him as a trade chip, as there is a number of needs that the Brewers should fulfill. Overall, he is sitting on 99 career saves and Opening Day would be a perfect time to cash in save #100.