Editor's note: The above video is from Billy Beane's media availability on Oct. 5.
A busy Friday got busier for the A’s after they finalized a trade to send right-hander Jesse Chavez to the Toronto Blue Jays for right-handed reliever Liam Hendriks.
Chavez appeared a possible trade candidate after the A’s signed free agent Rich Hill to add to their rotation, a move that was finalized earlier Friday. Chavez, who was 17-27 with a 3.98 ERA over four seasons in Oakland, holds appeal because of his versatility.
He’s proven to be effective in stretches as a starter and has filled just about every bullpen role capable at one time or another.
In Hendriks, the A’s get a hard-throwing 26-year-old who began his career as a starter but excelled last season as a reliever. He posted a 2.92 ERA in 58 appearances and averaged 9.9 strikeouts (against 1.5 walks) per nine innings. The native of Perth, Australia, also comes with four years of team control, whereas Chavez is a free agent after the upcoming season.
A’s general manager David Forst said rebuilding the bullpen was a top priority, and Oakland moved quick to begin that process.
Closer Sean Doolittle said that it makes sense to restock the bullpen after the unit struggled last season. But Doolittle added, after news of Chavez’s trade broke but before it became official:
“It’s weird. I was talking to him earlier today. We were both hoping he was gonna stay in Oakland. I hope we didn’t jinx it.”
Earlier Friday, the A’s also designated for assignment reliever Fernando Abad, outfielder Craig Gentry and starter A.J. Griffin to clear out needed 40-man roster space.