Feb. 19: The A’s have officially announced the signing. Oakland opened a 40-man roster spot by placing right-hander Frankie Montas on the Covid-19 related injury list. A’s manager Bob Melvin revealed this week that Montas had tested positive for Covid-19 (link via Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News). He’s been dealing with symptoms and will be delayed in his arrival to Spring Training.
Feb. 14: The Athletics have re-signed right-hander Yusmeiro Petit to a one-year contract, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). The deal will be official once Petit passes a physical. MLBTR’s Steve Adams reports that Petit will earn $2.55MM in guaranteed money, with another $450K available in incentive bonuses. Petit is represented by Godoy Sports.
Petit returns for his fourth season with Oakland, a tenure that has been nothing but successful for both parties. Petit has a 2.73 ERA over 197 2/3 innings in an A’s uniform, and has been a workhorse out of the bullpen — 154 appearances in 2018-19 and then 26 appearances during the shortened 2020 season.
Petit is far from a Statcast darling and doesn’t record many strikeouts, as evidenced by his below-average K% over the last three years. However, Petit’s 4.14% walk rate over that same stretch is elite, and he doesn’t allow much hard contact. All in all, Petit has continually outperformed his peripherals; his 3.89 SIERA from 2018-20 is over a run higher than his actual ERA over his past three seasons.
Not that many free agent relievers drew a ton of attention this winter, but there wasn’t much in the way of public buzz about Petit, perhaps due to his advanced metrics and his age (36). The righty previously inked a two-year, $10MM deal with Oakland in November 2017 that ended up being a three-year, $14.5MM pact after the Athletics exercised their club option on Petit for the 2020 season.
Between Petit and new acquisitions Sergio Romo and Adam Kolarek, Oakland has suddenly added a lot of bullpen reinforcement over the last three days. Relief pitching was a major strength for the A’s in 2020 but it was a position that needed to be addressed since Liam Hendriks and Joakim Soria departed in free agency.