It turns out Daniel Mengden is sticking around after all, for now.
The right-handed pitcher was designated for assignment on Sunday, potentially bringing an end to his five-year run in the Oakland A’s organization. However, he cleared waivers, and on Tuesday the A’s outrighted him to Triple-A Las Vegas.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s staying long-term, though. Since he passed the three-year mark in service time this summer, he has the right to elect free agency in response to being outrighted, and he doesn’t have to decide until the end of the regular season. So, for now he wasn’t claimed away from Oakland by another team, and the A’s didn’t choose to release him, but it’s still possible that in a week he might move on of his own accord and test the open market.
Mengden is no longer on the 40-man roster, so if he does stay in the organization into 2021, then in order to return to the majors he would first need to be added back to that 40-man list. In such an instance, he would still be out of minor league options, and could not freely be sent back down off the active 20something-man roster just like he couldn’t this summer.
The 27-year-old didn’t get a lot of playing time this season, appearing in just four games, including one start. In 12⅓ innings he posted a solid 3.65 ERA, but a shaky 5.62 FIP due to some extra walks and a couple homers. In his career he’s thrown just over 300 innings, all for the A’s, with a 4.64 ERA and nearly identical FIP, plus around 2-3 WAR on each scale.
Mengden’s 2020 campaign was interrupted at the end of August by a positive test for coronavirus, which required him to sit out in quarantine for a few weeks until he could be cleared to return. That clearance came Friday, but by Sunday he was DFA’d.