The Athletics have agreed to a minor league contract with right-handed reliever Jaime Schultz, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). He’ll be invited to Major League Spring Training and vie for a bullpen job in camp.
Schultz, 28, has spent the past two seasons in the Rays and Dodgers organizations, where he’s scuffled to a combined 5.86 ERA in 35 1/3 innings at the MLB level. Schultz has averaged 9.7 K/9 during that time but has also surrendered an average of 5.1 walks and 1.8 homers per nine innings of work. That said, Schultz averaged just under 96 mph on his fastball in 2019, has a career 12.5 percent swinging-strike rate in the big leagues and was in the 87th percentile of MLB pitchers in terms of fastball spin rate this past season, perhaps suggesting there’s more in the tank.
Schultz has also appeared in parts of four Triple-A campaigns and notched a 4.42 ERA with 12.1 K/9 against 4.9 BB/9 in 226 innings. He’s been more of a fly-ball pitcher since moving to the bullpen a few years back but did post an above-average 47.2 percent mark in that regard with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2019.