MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' bullpen moved closer to completion on Wednesday when the team finalized a one-year Major League deal with left-hander Boone Logan and signed right-hander J.J. Hoover to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to big league camp.The duo joins a more familiar newcomer, former Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' bullpen moved closer to completion on Wednesday when the team finalized a one-year Major League deal with left-hander Boone Logan and signed right-hander J.J. Hoover to a Minor League contract that includes an invitation to big league camp.
The duo joins a more familiar newcomer, former Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo, who last month inked a one-year contract and will first compete for a spot in the starting rotation before the Brewers consider him for the bullpen.
"I think we're open to adding, but I do think we've built some nice depth in that area with the guys coming back from last year and some of the guys we've added," Brewers general manager David Stearns said. "I do think we're getting to the point where we are in a good spot."
As previously reported, Logan will get a $1.875 million salary in 2018, and his deal includes a $4.125 million club option for '19 with a $625,000 buyout. There is also $3.2 million in incentives available in each year of the deal for innings and appearances.
To clear a spot for Logan on Milwaukee's full 40-man roster, the team released former first-round Draft pick Taylor Jungmann to sign in Japan.
Hoover, who spent 2017 with the D-backs but is well-known to Brewers fans for his work with the Reds from '12-16, would earn $1.1 million if he makes the Major League club with a chance for $1.65 million more in incentives, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman.
Hoover pitched 52 times for Arizona last season with a 3.92 ERA, despite tying Rangers and Giants righty Sam Dyson for the 17th-highest WHIP (1.77) among Major Leaguers who logged at least 40 innings. How were Hoover and Dyson so good at cleaning up messes? Strikeouts, in Hoover's case. He whiffed a career-best 11.8 batters per nine innings, ranking in baseball's top 30 in that category at the 40-inning threshold.
Hoover became a free agent when he was non-tendered by the D-backs on Dec. 1, and the Brewers expressed immediate interest. If he makes the team, Milwaukee will have up to two seasons of control before Hoover hits free agency again.
For his career, Hoover has a 4.09 ERA in 283 2/3 innings. All 288 of his Major League appearances have come in relief.
"Really, except for the blip at the Major League level in 2016 [when Hoover had a 13.50 ERA in 18 games], he's been a pretty consistent reliever," Stearns said. "We feel like we know what we're getting here."
The same goes for Logan, assuming he is healthy. He was limited to 21 innings and 38 appearances for the Indians in 2017 because of a severe lat injury. On the other hand, he averaged 56 appearances and just shy of 10 strikeouts per nine innings in the 10 previous seasons, and he has held left-handed hitters to a .234 average in his career.
"Ultimately, we did our medical due diligence," Stearns said. "We believe that he will be ready in Spring Training. Ultimately, the goal is to get a healthy Boone Logan, because we believe a healthy Boone Logan is going to be effective."
Logan has been used as a situational left-hander in his career, the type of reliever the Brewers have shied away from in recent seasons. But Logan made sense, Stearns said, because so many of the team's other bullpen candidates, including left-handers Josh Hader and Brent Suter (assuming they don't crack the starting rotation) can work multiple innings. The same goes for right-handers like Gallardo, Jeremy Jeffress, Jacob Barnes and Junior Guerra.
"We are likely to have length in the bullpen from multiple sources," Stearns said. "When you have guys who can go multiple innings, then you can afford to have someone who maybe is a little bit shorter. We actually do think Boone has the capability with his stuff to be more than a left-on-left guy. … But if that's how he best suits our team, then we are equipped to manage that."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.