Oakland A’s: Daniel Mengden reportedly heading to KBO

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 11: Daniel Mengden #33 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 11, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 11: Daniel Mengden #33 of the Oakland Athletics pitches in the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 11, 2020 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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According to reports, former Oakland A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden is close to joining an unnamed team in the Korean Baseball Organization.

Daniel Mengden had been an important piece for the Oakland A’s over the past few years. While he was not a star, and only had one season with more than 75 innings, he was a key depth piece. Whenever the A’s needed a starter  or someone to provide innings, Mengden was there in AAA, waiting for the call.

That ended when he was designated for assignment on September 20 after he was activated from the league’s COVID-19 list. Now, according to reports, he is set to head overseas, as he is close to signing with an unnamed team in the Korean Baseball Organization.

This is not the first time that the KBO had interest in his services. Teams were apparently looking to bring him over during the previous offseason, but were unable to do so. In the end, he made just four appearances spanning 12.1 innings before being placed on the COVID list and being subsequently released.

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Mengden has been a respectable piece in the majors as a depth option. He has posted a 17-20 record with a 4.64 ERA and a 1.312 WHiP in his 302.2 innings, striking out 224 batters with 102 walks. He has been much better at AAA, where he has posted a 3.11 ERA and a 1.112 WHiP in his 225.2 innings, striking out 202 batters with just 62 walks.

It is possible that spending the year in the KBO could help to jumpstart Mengden’s career. Plenty of pitchers have headed overseas to find themselves, coming back as viable major league options. Mengden could easily follow in those footsteps and return as a solid option in the back of some team’s rotation.

Time is also on his side. Although he has been in the majors for parts of the past five seasons, he is still only 27 years old. He is just entering his hypothetical prime, and with those changes in the KBO, could find himself back in the majors in short order.

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Daniel Mengden had been a key depth piece for the Oakland A’s over the past five years. A trip to the Korean Baseball Organization could allow him to become even more.

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