Why A's could target these three relievers in MLB free agency


Why A's could target these three relievers in MLB free agency

The A's bullpen was a major strength in 2018, but it likely will look a bit different next season.

Veteran right-handers Jeurys Familia, Cory Gearrin and Fernando Rodney are unlikely to return, and Shawn Kelley is uncertain on his future.

The good news is that All-Star closer Blake Treinen should be back in green and gold, along with Lou Trivino, J.B. Wendelken, Ryan Buchter and Yusmeiro Petit. That still leaves a few openings for Oakland to fill, potentially in free agency.

Since they already have their closer and back-end setup men, the A's don't need to make a huge splash, but they certainly could use another veteran arm or two. With that in mind, here are three free agent relievers they could target:

Sergio Romo

The former Giant had a solid season in Tampa Bay, going 3-4 with 25 saves and a 4.14 earned run average. His ERA actually was 3.15 through Sept. 14, before a brutal finish sent it up nearly a full run.

Romo still has swing-and-miss stuff at age 35, recording 75 strikeouts in 67 1/3 innings. The veteran right-hander earned $2.5 million last season. For that price, or maybe even a little less, Romo could be a solid under-the-radar addition to the A's bullpen.

Romo obviously is comfortable in the Bay Area, having spent nine years in San Francisco and winning three World Series titles. He showed great versatility last season, serving in every role from starter to closer for the Rays. If the A's want to continue experimenting with an opener, Romo would be a great candidate. He also could provide another solid option in the sixth or seventh inning.

Tyler Clippard

After a disappointing 2017 season, Clippard bounced back in a big way, going 4-3 with seven saves and a 3.67 ERA for the Blue Jays. The former Athletic notched 85 strikeouts in 68 2/3 innings, tied for the best strikeout rate of his career.

The A's originally acquired Clippard from the Nationals after the 2014 season and then signed him to a one-year contract worth $8.3 million. Clippard went 1-3 with a 2.79 ERA and 17 saves with the A's before being dealt to the Mets.

Clippard, 33, earned just $1.5 million last year and again figures to be affordable this offseason. The two-time All-Star could give the A's another reliable veteran arm for the late innings and help limit their use of Treinen and Trivino.

Jesse Chavez

Another former Athletic, Chavez had a terrific season for the Rangers and Cubs. The 35-year-old went 5-2 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, recording 92 strikeouts in 95 1/3 innings.

When Chavez was last with the A's, he still was a starting pitcher. His transition back to reliever has gone incredibly well, and he could provide great value with his versatility.

Chavez earned just $1.5 million last season and doesn't figure to get a whole lot more at age 35. For that price, he would be an excellent addition to the A's 'pen.

A's sign free-agent outfielder Robbie Grossman to one-year contract

A's sign free-agent outfielder Robbie Grossman to one-year contract

Spring training is here and the A's are adding to their depth in the outfield. 

The A's have officially signed outfielder Robbie Grossman, the team announced on Friday. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was first to report the news on Wednesday.

Grossman, 29, hit .273 with a .751 OPS last season for the Twins. He was also worth 1.5 bWAR. 

[RELATED: Brett Anderson re-signs with A's on one-year contract]

The switch-hitter also brings versatility on defense. Grossman has experience at all three outfield positions. In 2018, he played 52 games in right field, 34 in left field and served as the DH 36 times. 

A's should target a pair of pitchers as Marlins' fire sale continues


A's should target a pair of pitchers as Marlins' fire sale continues

At the rate they're going, the Marlins might not be able to field a team on Opening Day.

Last week, Miami traded talented young catcher J.T. Realmuto to the Phillies, continuing their seemingly never-ending fire sale. As ESPN's Sam Miller pointed out, the Marlins have now traded 23 of their top 25 players in franchise history, based on WAR.

With Miami clearly tanking this year, there might be an opportunity for the A's to add some talent before the season starts. CBS Sports' R.J. Anderson listed nine players who could soon be shipped off by the Marlins. We've selected two the A's should target:

José Ureña - SP

José Ureña would have a chance to be the A's number one or two starter. The 27-year-old right-hander is coming off a solid 2018 season with the Marlins, going 9-12 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 174 innings.

Ureña was even better in 2017, finishing 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA. He has always had great stuff but has struggled a bit with his command. Getting out of Miami would probably serve him well, and what better place to pitch than the Oakland Coliseum?

Ureña will earn just $3.2 million this season and is under team arbitration control through 2021, making him even more attractive to a team like the A's. With Oakland's wealth of outfielders and prospects, a trade for Ureña wouldn't be unrealistic.

[RELATED: A's manager Melvin praises Luzardo's wicked breaking ball]

Dan Straily - SP

Dan Straily is another starter who could help solidify the A's rotation. The veteran right-hander began his career in Oakland, spending three seasons with the A's from 2012-14.

Last year, Straily went 5-6 with a 4.12 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 122 1/3 innings. The 30-year-old has a career ERA of 4.23 in seven Major League seasons.

Straily is scheduled to make $5 million this season and has one more year of arbitration control. He could potentially slot in as the A's number three or four starter and likely wouldn't cost a whole lot to acquire.