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Elephant Rumblings: A’s sign Newcomb, decline option on Rucinski

MLB news roundup

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San Diego Padres v Oakland Athletics Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The World Series is barely finished, but offseason wheeling and dealing is already well underway across MLB.

The A’s made a couple of significant moves yesterday. First, they decided to take a chance on relief pitcher Sean Newcomb.

Newcomb began his MLB career in 2017 as a promising starter for the Braves, but he has struggled quite a bit in recent years. The big, thirty-year-old lefty was acquired in trade from the Giants in August, and he had a pretty good late season run with the A’s, posting a 3.00 ERA and 10.20 K/9 through 15 innings.

Newcomb’s season was also cut short in September by a torn meniscus, for which he underwent an operation. But the A’s are reportedly willing to bet a million that Newcomb can mount a comeback in 2024.

The A’s also declined their $5 million club option on starting pitcher Drew Rucinski yesterday, as reported by Ari Alexander at KPRC 2 Houston. The 34-year-old came to Oakland ahead of the 2023 season in the wake of successes on the mound in Korea, holding out promise as an inexpensive ($3MM) rotation depth piece.

Unfortunately, Drew’s season quickly turned disastrous. After getting shellacked and posting a 9.00 ERA through four starts early in the season, Rucinski got shut down for back problems and underwent surgery. He won’t be ready to pitch by next Opening Day, so it should surprise no one that the A’s are taking a pass on their 2024 option.

Major League Baseball is done for the year, but there are plenty of stories to peruse today. Enjoy, and have a wonderful weekend, AN.

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