Fernando Abad Rumors

Athletics Avoid Arbitration With Fernando Abad

The Athletics have avoided arbitration with lefty Fernando Abad, MLBTR has learned. He will earn $1,087,500 for the coming season, his first of arbitration eligibility, and can also achieve award bonuses in the deal. Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com tweeted previously that his understanding was that Abad had a deal in place with Oakland.

Abad, 29, had filed at $1.225MM with the A’s countering at $850K, meaning that he bested the midpoint by about $50K. The contract value also represents a bump up over the MLBTR/Matt Swartz projection of a $900K payday. Abad is represented by Praver/Shapiro Sports Management.

Abad followed up on a strong 2013 campaign with an even better effort last year, posting a career-low 1.57 ERA over a career-high 57 1/3 frames. The Dominican native backed his run prevention with 8.0 K/9 against 2.4 BB/9. While a .211 BABIP and 88.6% strand rate undoubtedly contributed to his miserly earned run totals, ERA estimators viewed Abad as a solidly above-average performer.

As one might expect, Abad was especially excellent against same-handed hitters, striking out 35% of opposing lefties. While his swing-and-miss numbers weren’t as impressive against right-handers, Abad did hold them to a .157/.217/.257 line that was even more anemic than lefties managed against him.

Oakland added the southpaw last year when he lost his 40-man spot with the Nationals in advance of the Rule 5 draft. With left-handed closer Sean Doolittle slated to miss the beginning of the season with rotator cuff issues, Abad’s importance to the Athletics’ pen is certainly heightened.

Athletics Acquire Fernando Abad

The A's have acquried left-hander Fernando Abad from the Nationals in exchange for Class-A outfielder John Wooten, according to the MLB Network's Peter Gammons (Twitter link). Abad was one of two 40-man roster casualties last week when he and Tyler Robertson were designated for assignment in order to clear roster space for Sammy Solis, Michael Taylor and Aaron Barrett in advance of the Rule 5 Draft.

Abad will turn 27 in three weeks and is coming off a solid season in which he pitched to a 3.35 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 37 2/3 innings of work for the Nationals. Abad turned in a curious reverse platoon split, as opposing lefties batted .306/.338/.452 against him, albeit in a small sample size of just 65 plate appaearances. He also had a poor finish to the season, allowing 10 runs in his final 13 1/3 ininngs and serving up the only three homers he allowed all season.

Abad has two years, 73 days of service time, so he won't be eligible for arbitration until next offseason and can be controlled through 2017 should he excel in his new surroundings.

The 22-year-old Wooten was a 37th-round selection by the A's in the 2012 draft and had a solid season for Class A Beloit in 2012, batting .257/.333/.430 with 20 homers in 555 plate appearances. Though he's primarily a right fielder, Wooten also appeared in 10 games at third base, six at first base and one at second base. He did not appear on Baseball America's list of Top 30 A's prospects prior to the season, nor does he currently appear on MLB.com's list of Top 20 A's farmhands.

Nationals Designate Abad, Robertson For Assignment

The Nationals announced that they have designated left-handed pitchers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson for assignment.  The moves will make room for left-hander Sammy Solis, outfielder Michael Taylor, and right-hander Aaron Barrett on the 40-man roster.

Abad, 28 in December, pitched to a 3.35 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 39 appearances last season.  Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com (on Twitter) is surprised to see him DFA'd as he was fairly solid in 2013.  Robertson, 26 in December, made two big league appearances but spent the bulk of the year with the Nats' and Twins' Triple-A where he posted a 3.04 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 4.6 BB/9 in 47 outings.

The Nats' 40-man roster is now at capacity.