The Brewers announced today that left handed pitcher Bob McClure has been granted free agency. Though McClure is expected to get significant interest from other teams on the open market, McClure says he wants to remain a Brewer.
“I definitely want to stay in Milwaukee,” McClure said. “Bud (Selig) and Harry (Dalton) have been excellent to me. I hope it doesn’t come to the point where we can’t reach terms.”
McClure has been in Milwaukee since a 1977 trade with the Kansas City Royals. Prior to 1982, the 30-year-old hurler was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen. But the Brewers had trouble finding stability in the back-end of their rotation early on last season, so McClure got to see action as a starter in 26 games.
Considering it was his first full season used mainly as a starter, 1982 was arguably McClure’s most productive season. He established career-highs in wins (12), innings pitched (172 2/3) and strikeouts (99) while sporting a solid 4.22 ERA. His use as a starter came to an end in mid-September, but McClure allowed only one earned run out of the bullpen in his final 4 2/3 innings pitched.
As a left-handed pitcher with versatility as a starting pitcher and a reliever, McClure realizes this is his time to maximize his value.
“I have to think about my family, too,” said McClure. “This may be my only shot at this. But I hope it all works out.”
Don Sutton, Pete Vuckovich, and Mike Caldwell will anchor the pitching staff again in 1982. If he returns, McClure would challenge Moose Haas, Jim Slaton, and possibly youngster Chuck Porter for the final two spots.
There are several left-handed pitchers available on the free agent market, but only one (Floyd Bannister) is a full-time starter with the credentials of McClure. The Mariners and Angels couldn’t agree on a trade, so Bannister has officially become a free agent. But Bannister is likely to be too pricey for the Brewers, making resigning McClure all the more important.
In other Brewers pitching news, Doc Medich has retired to pursue a career in medicine. It was a move that many expected prior to the Brewers acquiring the veteran hurler from Texas during the season.