Minutes before the trade deadline hit, the Milwaukee Brewers added their second reliever of the day in a trade with the Miami Marlins. As first reported by Jon Heyman, the Crew received right-handed bullpen arm, John Curtiss, in exchange for catcher Payton Henry.
In addition to Curtiss, the Brewers also traded for Daniel Norris, formerly of Detroit, just a few hours earlier. It was no secret that Milwaukee was going to add to their bullpen depth; the real question was how many arms they would acquire.
Curtiss made his big league debut in 2017 with Minnesota and has bounced around since then, playing for four different teams, with Milwaukee being the fifth. However, despite not sticking anywhere up to this point in his career, Curtiss has really gained some traction over these last two seasons.
In 2020 with Tampa Bay, he pitched 25.0 innings out of the bullpen and logged a 1.80 ERA, a FIP of 3.35, and a 0.960 WHIP. He also struck out 9.0 batters per nine innings pitched and rarely gave up a walk, averaging just 1.1 walks per nine. Curtiss would also give up just three home runs.
This season with the Marlins has been much of the same. Often working in the seventh inning, Curtiss has pitched in 40.0 innings for the Fish this season, posting a 2.48 ERA, a 3.21 FIP, and a 1.075 WHIP. He continues to strike out batters at a nice clip of 9.0 K/9 and is walking just 2.0 batters per nine innings as well. He’s also allowed just four home runs during that span.
Curtiss relies primarily on a 95 mph fastball as well as a slider that he incorporates about 43 percent of the time, according to Brooks Baseball. His platoon splits against righties and lefties are pretty similar, with right-handers posting a .648 OPS against Curtiss and left-handers at .633 this season.
And in a very David Stearns-ian type of move, Curtiss comes with a few years of team control remaining. He won’t reach arbitration until 2023, and he won’t become a free agent until 2025.