MILWAUKEE — The Brewers have reacquired right-hander Jeremy Jeffress, a year after sending their former closer and first-round draft pick to the Texas Rangers.
In a deal announced at the non-waiver trade deadline Monday, the Rangers sent Jeffress back to Milwaukee for Double-A pitcher Tayler Scott.
Jeffress was the 16th overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Brewers. He had been sent with two-time All-Star catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Texas exactly 52 weeks earlier in another deadline deal. Lucroy was traded by Texas to Colorado on Sunday night.
Scott is 4-6 with a 2.34 ERA in 42 appearances for Double-A Biloxi this season. He was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs in 2011.
In 39 games this season, Jeffress is 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA, and allowed a home run in each of his past four appearances.
But Jeffress had his best years with the Brewers. He had 27 saves last year with Milwaukee before getting traded, and is 9-3 overall with a 2.38 ERA in 158 games for Milwaukee.
General manager David Stearns hopes Jeffress can succeed back in the familiar confines of Miller Park.
“He’s still the same guy, we still think he can get big outs and the goal here is to get him back to a comfortable setting and a place where he’s performed well and get that level of performance back,” Stearns said on Monday.
Jeffress is the second addition to the bullpen over the past week, joining Anthony Swarzak after Stearns acquired the right-hander from the Chicago White Sox for minor league outfielder Ryan Cordell.
The bullpen has been a trouble spot for the Brewers, who have struggled since the All-Star break. Milwaukee went from 5½ games up in the National League Central at the break to 2½ games in second place behind the Cubs after losing two of three games to Chicago over the weekend.
Jeffress pitched in 10 games with the Brewers in 2010 before being traded to Kansas City that December as part of a six-player deal that brought ace Zack Greinke to the Brewers. He had stints with the Royals and Blue Jays before returning to the Brewers in 2014.
At the time, Jeffress had been suspended twice for violating the minor league drug policy, which he has said was for marijuana use. He has also suffered from debilitating seizures.
He overcame those issues in a successful stint with Milwaukee before getting dealt to Texas at the Aug. 1 trade deadline last year.
Less than a month after that deal, Jeffress was placed on the restricted list for about a month following an arrest on a drunken driving charge. Jeffress was at an inpatient rehab clinic for a little more than three weeks, Rangers general manager Jon Daniels had said.
“In this case, we do feel like we know Jeremy, familiarity does help. I think Jeremy recognizes that the incident last year was unacceptable,” Stearns said.
“He’s taken ownership of it, he’s apologized for it and has behaved very appropriately since then, so we have confidence that that will continue, and are looking forward to bringing him back.”
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