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Elephant Rumblings: Royals sign Daniel Mengden to minor league deal

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MLB: Colorado Rockies at Oakland Athletics
Jul 28, 2020; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Daniel Mengden (33) looks in for the sign during the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Oakland Coliseum.
Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Wednesday, Athletics Nation!

Allow me to wax lyrical for just a moment.

Daniel, my brother, you are furrier faced than me

Okay, that was pretty self-indulgent. But I relish any chance I get to serve up that well-worn cliché, having been on the receiving end of it countless times. And as someone who can’t grow proper facial hair, I’ve always somewhat enviously admired Daniel Mengden’s handlebar mustache. It certainly lent him a lot of character on the mound, as did his distinctively old-school windup (though he simplified the windup in 2020).

After five years in the A’s organization, Mengden was oughtrighted in September 2020, elected free agency, and spent last year playing in Korea with the Kia Tigers. Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals signed him to a minor league deal, per Anthony Franco of MLB Trade Rumors. If he makes it back to the big leagues with the Royals, it will be his first MLB stint not wearing green and gold.

Mengden never played a full season with the A’s, partly due to various injuries, but he saw action every summer from 2016 through 2020. After posting a disastrous 6.50 ERA in his rookie year, he flashed promise in 2017, improving to a 3.14 ERA in seven starts, including a complete game shutout of the Philadelphia Phillies. In 2018 he enjoyed his most productive season with the resurgent, playoff bound Athletics, posting 115.2 IP and a serviceable ERA of 4.05. He even notched another CG SHO against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Unfortunately, Mengden struggled in 2019, then was limited to only 12.1 major league innings in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and was outrighted off the 40-man roster before the playoffs began. All told, Mengden fared thusly in his five seasons with the A’s:

Mengden, 2016-20 MLB: 302.2 IP, 224 Ks, 4.64 ERA, 4.58 FIP, 1.312 WHIP

He may not have been consistent, but he had some great moments with the A’s, and I was always a fan. Athletics Nation wishes Daniel Mengden all the best!

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The beat goes on.

SuSlu captures a clip of our salty former closer training in Mesa:

She spoke to another ex-closer in Mesa, too:

MLB celebrates International Women’s Day.

... as do the A’s. Let’s hear it for the ladies!