Oakland A relievers Chafin and Diekman become free agency

With payroll due to be cut and manager Bob Melvin moving to San Diego, Oakland A’s roster is expected to be very different in the 2022 season. The change was sparked on Thursday with two key players hitting free agency.

The A’s exercised their 2022 mutual option on left-handed pitcher Andrew Chafin’s contract worth $ 2.7 million, and declined the club’s option on left-handed reliever Jake Diekman’s contract, a worth $ 4 million. Chafin has turned down his share of the mutual option and the two join a roster of 13 league-leading free agents in Oakland.

Why let the arms of Chafin and Diekman’s caliber lifters work? To save a large amount of money. With a buyout of $ 750,000 on Diekman’s contract, the A’s will earn $ 3.75 million to watch Diekman walk. The A’s most likely took their half of Chafin’s mutual option anticipating that he would decline. As one of the best left-handed relievers around, Chafin, 31, is sure to strike a more lucrative multi-year deal in the open market.

The A’s acquired Chafin on the 2021 trade deadline from the disbanded Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor-league outfield prospect Greg Deichmann. Chafin was one of the A’s most reliable relievers in their failed playoff bid, posting a 1.53 ERA, 27 strikeouts, seven walks and five saves with two missed saves in 29-1. / 3 innings in 28 appearances.

Diekman, a tough southpaw with a stunning slider, came to the A’s on the Kansas City Royals’ 2019 trade deadline and re-signed with the A’s on a two-year, $ 7.5 million contract this offseason. . Diekman racked up a 3.25 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 102 1/3 innings during his time with the As, including a 2020 campaign in which he allowed an earned run in 21 1/3 innings. (0.42 MPM).

Chafin and Diekman bring the A’s free agent list to 13 names, which leads all baseball into the offseason. That roster also includes outfielder Mark Canha, closest Trevor Rosenthal, infielder Jed Lowrie, DH Mitch Moreland, starter Mike Fiers and relievers Yusmeiro Petit and Sergio Romo.

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