The Brewers have agreed to a two-year, $5 million deal with free-agent reliever Matt Albers, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. The $5 million contract also includes a $1M incentive bonus per year depending on performance and appearances. Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that Albers’ incentives will activate after his 35th game appearance and will max out at 65 appearances.
The 35-year-old free agent is coming off of a solid 2017 with the Nationals (with whom he signed a minor-league deal in March), recording a 1.62 ERA and 3.40 FIPin 61.0 innings pitched. This is in stark contrast to his 2016 campaign with the White Sox, which saw a 6.31 ERA over 51.1 innings. Talk about a comeback.
Albers’ performance in Washington last year can’t be discounted, but with a two-year deal the Brewers are extending some faith into him to keep that 2017 momentum. The 2001 draftee has been known to ride the turbulence over his 12 years in the majors. If he doesn’t fall back into his career average prior to last year of 4.34 ERA, Albers is not only a solid bullpen depth acquisition, but can lend his wisdom to the team’s tribe of young, emerging arms.
The Brewers will be Albers’ eighth major league club. Milwaukee has been active with pitching additions this winter, signing Albers, Jhoulys Chacin, Yovani Gallardo and Boone Logan to major-league deals while giving non-guaranteed contracts to J.J. Hoover and Ernesto Frieri.