JAN. 19: FanRag’s Jon Heyman tweets that Detwiler’s deal contains a $1MM base salary upon making the Major League roster in addition to incentives.
JAN. 18: The A’s have agreed to a minor league contract with lefty Ross Detwiler, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The 30-year-old will return to the A’s organization as a non-roster invite and compete for a job in Spring Training.
Detwiler, a client of CAA, spent the majority of the 2016 season with Oakland, tossing 44 innings in green and gold. However, he struggled quite a bit, logging a 6.14 earned run average with 4.7 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate. The former No. 6 overall pick was once a very solid arm for the Nationals, who originally drafted him, pitching to a 3.61 ERA over the course of 394 1/3 innings from 2010-14. A trade to the Rangers prior to the 2015 season marked the beginning of a pronounced decline for Detwiler, though, and he’s limped to a 6.73 ERA in 107 innings with the Rangers, Braves, Indians and A’s since that time.
Though Detwiler made seven starts for Oakland down the stretch last season, he seems like a notable long shot to factor into the team’s rotation mix. The A’s will trot out a group consisting of Sonny Gray, Sean Manaea and Kendall Graveman, with Andrew Triggs and Jharel Cotton as likely candidates for the final two spots. Others that will be in consideration for rotation work include Jesse Hahn, Daniel Mengden, Paul Blackburn, Frankie Montas and Dillon Overton. However, Sean Doolittle is the only lefty that’s a lock to make Oakland’s bullpen in 2017, so Detwiler could compete for a left-handed setup gig or a long relief role. In parts of nine Major League seasons, left-handed hitters have batted just .233/.313/.304 against Detwiler (including a .237/.304/.342 slash last year).