Brief Thoughts On Bobby Jenks

At a $7.5 million salary, Bobby Jenks was not going to be a bargain via arbitration in 2011. However, despite posting the worst ERA of his carer (4.44) in 2010, Bobby Jenks actually had a career year. After several years of declining velocity and strikeout stuff, Jenks rekindled some of his whiff talent in 2009 (8.27 K/9). In 2010, Jenks followed that up with his best strikeout rate (10.27) since his rookie year (2005, 11.44). That, paired with an above average walk rate (3.02) and career second-best groundball rate (58.3%) led to strong peripherals (2.59 FIP, 2.62 xFIP, 3.29 tERA). Oliver projects a 3.89 ERA for Jenks in 2011, with a strikeout rate akin to that which it was in 2009. While a 3.89 ERA is far from elite for a reliever, it is a strong starting point noting the whiffing upside and rekindled fastball velocity that Jenks has flashed in recent seasons. I would not be shocked to see Jenks post a mid-3's or better ERA in 2011 and 2012 and accordingly, I would be quite open to signing the newly crowned Free Agent to a 2-year/$10 million deal as the Cubs' primary set-up man behind Carlos Marmol.

Of course, like my avocation for Kelly Johnson last season, my logic will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears. If only Jim Hendry read this blog.