The 2019 A's starting rotation will probably look a lot different than it did at the end of 2018. Edwin Jackson, Trevor Cahill, and Brett Anderson are all unrestricted free agents, and Mike Fiers is up for arbitration.
While the A's do have some reinforcements within the organization, they could certainly benefit from a shrewd free agent signing or two. Obviously, Oakland won't be in the running for the top big-money free agents, ruling out pitchers like Dallas Keuchel and J.A. Happ, but here are five options that could be in their price range.
Eovaldi put together a strong 2018 between Tampa Bay and Boston. The right-hander went 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 1.13 WHIP in 22 appearances, including 21 starts. In seven career seasons, he has compiled a 4.16 ERA.
Eovaldi earned just $2 million this season, and while he figures to get more than that next year, he should still be affordable for a team like the A's. At the age of 28, he is right in his prime and could provide a strong veteran presence for Oakland.
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Buchholz pitched brilliantly in 17 starts with the Diamondbacks this season. The 34-year-old turned back the clock, going 7-2 with a 2.01 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. In 12 big league seasons, Buchholz has a 3.86 ERA.
The Diamondbacks only paid Buchholz $1.5 million for his services in 2018 and as he approaches the age of 35, he likely won't get much more next season. The two-time All-Star could prove to be a nice under-the-radar signing for a team like Oakland.
After a rough 2017, Jeremy Hellickson bounced back this season with the Nationals. The right-hander went 5-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.07 WHIP in 17 starts for Washington. He has a 4.07 career ERA in nine Major League seasons.
Hellickson only earned a base salary of $2 million this year and should be affordable. The 31-year-old could provide the A's with another reliable veteran starter for a reasonable price.
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Tyson Ross, a Berkeley native and former A, went 8-9 with a 4.15 ERA in 31 games this season, including 23 starts. The former All-Star began the year with the Padres, before being shipped to the Cardinals at the trade deadline. After joining St. Louis, Ross posted a 2.73 ERA in 26 1/3 innings.
The 31-year-old right-hander earned a base salary of $1.75 million in 2018, and doesn't figure to get a whole lot more next season. As a hometown pitcher, Ross would certainly fit into the A's "Rooted in Oakland" campaign, and he could add some depth to the rotation.
Speaking of hometown pitchers, Vallejo native CC Sabathia could be a terrific signing at the age of 38. The left-hander showed he still has something in the tank in his 18th season, going 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts with the Yankees.
Sabathia made $10 million in 2018, but maybe he would take a hometown discount to play for the A's in his 19th big league season. It makes a lot of sense for both sides, as Sabathia would get another chance to play for a playoff contender before he retires, while Oakland would get a six-time All-Star and fan favorite.