Athletics

Athletics

MLB free agency has slowed down to a mere simmer once again. Expect that to be the case until third baseman Josh Donaldson signs, which likely will cause more dominos to fall.

Until then, the A's still are in search of an everyday second baseman. A lefty bat would be a bonus, as well as some relief help. Luckily for the A's, the reliever market still has some solid bullpen arms available.

Fernando Rodney is still out there, as is Chad Bettis and Tony Sipp, to name a few of the more intriguing options. 

Rodney blew out 42 candles on his last birthday cake, indicating age is nothing but a number. So while acquiring him isn't the craziest idea, it doesn't appear likely. Especially if you take a look at his 2019 numbers with the A's.

Rodney posted a cringe-worthy 9.42 ERA and a 2.23 WHIP in 14.1 innings last season with the A's before getting designated for assignment. He would up signing a minor-league deal with the Nationals' Triple-A team, and eventually found himself on the Nats' World Series squad. Things obviously turned out well for him.

But a reunion with the A's? Unlikely.

For someone of Chad Bettis' caliber, his numbers don't exactly stand out, but we always give someone the benefit of the doubt who has to pitch at Coors Field half of the time. A 6.08 ERA, 5.16 FIP and 1.56 WHIP last season showed hitters dominated him, on paper. But the increase of inducing groundballs and pitching in a more spacious ballpark could make him someone to take another look at. 

 

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When it comes to 36-year-old Tony Sipp, he's someone who stands out simply on how well he pitches at the Coliseum. In 24 games in Oakland, he has limited batters to a .237 average, with 23 strikeouts with seven walks in those outings. He struggled last season with the Nationals, but during his five prior seasons with the Houston Astros, he showed he is a good fit in the AL West. 

There is, of course, a chance a trade could happen. Perhaps the A's give up two or three prospects for a stellar reliever. Whatever it is, they're aware they need to start hot in first half of the season and avoid that one-and-done wild-card game.