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.

Copyright CSNBY - CSN BAY
Contact Us