The Athletics have activated Daniel Mengden off the COVID-19 injured list and designated the right-hander for assignment, the team announced.
It has been an altogether tough year for Mengden, who underwent two intestinal surgeries and an arthroscopic elbow surgery during the offseason before testing positive for the coronavirus (with no symptoms, thankfully) in early September. On the field, Mengden has posted a 3.65 ERA over 12 1/3 innings for Oakland, starting one game and working as a long man out of the pen in his other three appearances.
Mengden’s skillset would seemingly make him a useful bullpen piece for the A’s during the playoffs, making the DFA placement a bit of a surprise. But, with a relief corps that is arguably already the best in baseball, the Athletics simply might have decided that they didn’t have room for Mengden. Opening up a roster spot could also hint at a future move to come in the season’s final days.
Mengden has a 4.64 ERA, 2.20 K/BB rate, and 6.7 K/9 over 302 2/3 career innings (starting 48 of 60 games), all with the A’s since making his Major League debut in 2016. Though there is only a week left in the regular season, it wouldn’t be a shock to see a team claim Mengden to get a quick look at him and gain a controllable arm. Mengden will be arbitration eligible for the first time this winter.