In a surprising move, the Oakland Athletics released reliever Blake Treinen and the Tampa Bay Rays need to act fast and sign him before somebody else does.
After a disappointing year from reliever Blake Treinen, the Oakland A’s cut ties with the right-hander who was only a season removed from a dominant 2018 campaign. In 2019, Treinen appeared in 57 games, throwing 58.2 innings and striking out 59. He finished with an underwhelming 4.91 ERA and even more worrisome FIP of 5.14. His 1.619 WHIP and middling number of strikeouts compared to innings pitched, are also causes for concern.
But, everyone is entitled to a bad year, right?
Prior to 2019, his career numbers were great and at times thought his career he has been dominant.
Career Numbers from 2014-2018:
- 288 G
- 341.1 IP
- 2.64 ERA // 3.05 FIP // 157 ERA+
- 332 K / 122 BB
His best season came just a year ago when he finished sixth in the Cy Young voting and fifteenth in the MVP voting. He was an all-star and racked up 38 saves.
- 68 G
- 80.1 IP
- 0.78 ERA // 1.82 FIP // 531 ERA+
- 38 SV
- 100 K / 21 BB
That is pure dominance.
With a bullpen already stocked with electric arms like Nick Anderson, Emilio Pagan, Diego Castillo, and Jose Alvarado the Rays can afford to take a chance on Treinen to rebound in 2020. If he does, their bullpen will be among the best in the game if not the best in the game. If he doesn’t, they still have plenty of options to turn to.
Just imagine having the 2018 version of Blake Treinen along with Nick Anderson and Emilio Pagan all locked and loaded late in games. The three of them could be a truly devastating trio.
The price tag for Treinen will be something to keep an eye on especially coming off of a season so drastically different from the one prior. Prior to being non-tendered by the Athletics, he was projected to make 7.8M in arbitration. Obviously, the Oakland front office was uncomfortable shelling out that type of money after his 2019 campaign, and as a result other front offices may be cautious as well.
Hopefully, this combined with his 2019 performance can drive his price down to within the price range of the Rays. If it does, the Rays need to act and sign him before somebody else does.