Blake Treinen made the AL All-Star team in 2018, and the A's probably thought they'd found their closer of the future. One year later, he's lost his closer role and maybe his roster spot.
MLB.com's Mark Feinsand included Treinen in his recent article about surprising non-tender candidates, but if you look at the right-hander's recent history, it's really not that surprising.
Treinen posted a career-worst 4.91 ERA and 1.619 WHIP this past season, as Liam Hendriks took over the A's closer role and did a sensational job. Treinen never recovered, and he ended his season early because of back problems, which shifted Chris Bassitt to the bullpen.
Now it's decision time for the A's as Treinen enters his third and final year of salary arbitration. The team either can non-tendered Treinen, making them a free agent, or they can offer him a contract for 2010.
Teams usually non-tender a player because they believe the salary he would receive in arbitration is greater than his value on the field. Treinen, who earned $6.4 million last season, is projected to be awarded $7.8 million in arbitration by MLB Trade Rumors. That's quite the gamble on someone who didn't live up to expectations.
Maybe Treinen will go the same route as right-hander Mike Fiers, who was non-tendered by the A's last year but ultimately re-signed on a two-year contract. That investment turned out to be successful, as he won a career- and a team-high 15 games.