It had been widely expected that Fiers would return to Oakland. After all, the A’s certainly need arms and he was quite successful in 2018 on both sides of the trade that sent him out west from the Tigers. He ended the season with a 3.56 ERA in 172 innings.
Still, Fiers projected to earn a hefty $9.7MM salary. And the results came in spite of some rough underlying stats. Fiers checked in with 7.3 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9, but coughed up 32 home runs — the same tally he allowed in the prior campaign. All of the major ERA estimators value him as a 4+ performer over each of the past four campaigns.
Graveman, meanwhile, is still recovering from Tommy John surgery and will likely miss most or all of the 2019 campaign. But he’s an interesting pitcher who should draw plenty of looks on the market. Gearrin, too, seems like a prime target as a steady veteran reliever. The A’s simply preferred not to pay their salaries, which were projected at $2.5MM and $2.4MM, respectively.