According to the Associated Press, Royals right-hander Jeremy Jeffress was arrested last month in Arizona following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Jeffress, who was acquired from the Brewers last offseason as part of the Zack Greinke trade, was booked for assault, criminal damage and disorderly conduct.
The first two charges were dismissed, but Jeffress was sentenced to serve 20 hours of community service for the disorderly conduct charge and required to attend a domestic violence counseling class.
Jeffress apologized for his actions via a statement from the Royals after the arrest was made public earlier today:
“There was an argument between myself and my girlfriend and I lost my temper, but I never put my hands on her.”
“There are consequences in what you do or say. I’ve disappointed my family and the name on the back of my jersey. I just want to make it clear this is not me.”
It’s not clear if he’ll face any discipline from the Royals, but general manager Dayton Moore said, “we stand behind Jeremy at this point based on the information we have received.” On an unrelated note, Jeffress was suspended twice during his time as a Brewers’ farmhand for testing positive for marijuana.
Jeffress, 24, made the Royals’ Opening Day roster last year, but was sent down to the minors in May after posting a 4.70 ERA and 13/11 K/BB ratio over 15 1/3 innings. The hard-throwing reliever wasn’t any better following his demotion, compiling a 5.50 ERA and 44/40 K/BB ratio over 55 2/3 innings between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha. The Royals have plenty of quality bullpen depth right now, so it’s probably best that Jeffress continues to work on his command in the minors.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.