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Oakland A's sign free agent pitcher Yusmeiro Petit

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The versatile righty gives the A’s some much needed pitching depth.

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Oakland Athletics
Sorry for putting the Angels on the front page.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s have signed free agent RHP Yusmeiro Petit, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The contract, which is still pending Petit passing a physical, is for two years and $10 million, with Rosenthal noting the following breakdown:

2017: $3.5M
2018: $5.5M
2019 team option: $5.5M, or $1M buyout

Petit has had some solid years in the bigs, pitching as both a starter and reliever in his 10-year career. That versatility will help an A’s club that is still figuring out its young pitching staff. He enjoyed a career year with the Angels in 2017, including a rate of 10 K/9, and along the way he led all MLB relievers with 87⅓ innings pitched. His overall numbers are below, in 60 games (59 relief, 1 start).

Petit, 2017: 2.76 ERA, 91⅓ ip, 101 Ks, 18 BB, 9 HR, 69 hits, 2.85 FIP

Also: Converted 19-of-20 save/hold chances

Petit turned 33 years old last week.

Hot takes

Fairly low risk for something the A’s desperately need. I like it!

Petit had a wonderful 2017 season, putting up a 2.76 ERA over 91⅓ innings pitched. Any team can use a pitcher with those kind of numbers, and for $5 million you’ve got yourself a potential steal of a deal.

Why might Petit be so cheap? He’s not your classic flame throwing relief ace, and while he’s had a solid career his 2017 was far better than his previous years. It’s not guaranteed the A’s are in for another year of a stud reliever with a sub-3 ERA.

However, Petit is a good signing even if he falls short of his fabulous 2017. His versatility is perfect for a team with a young pitching staff, one that will need some important innings eaten over the long season. Petit can start, he can throw three high leverage innings late in the game, or he can come in for a few tough outs late in a tight ballgame.

After trading for Emilio Pagan, the A’s now have two multi-inning guys who are capable of coming into the game in the seventh or eighth inning and carrying the team to victory like has been the trend of the past few seasons. That’s big, and if Petit is anything near what he was in 2017, the A’s have taken a big step at shoring up their previously lacking pen. There’s still work to be done, but they’re off to a good start this offseason.

One final note that you can file under Baseball Fandom Isn’t Rational. We all hate $10 million contracts: Jim Johnson, Ben Sheets, Billy Butler. Does the curse of the ten million dollar contracts extend to two-year deals? I’ll call John Axford and ask.