Oakland A’s bring Mike Fiers back on one year deal
By David Hill
Mike Fiers had been vocal about his desire to return to the Oakland A’s. He had stated that the A’s had almost felt like being home, and wanted to keep that going. There were two potential issues with a reunion, however – the A’s are determined to put A.J. Puk in the rotation and Oakland had refused to spend any money in free agency, claiming to be broke.
Saturday’s trade of Khris Davis for Elvis Andrus managed to free up some money for Oakland. Those savings were immediately put to use, as Fiers is back on a one year deal worth $3.5 million.
Oakland A’s need to find a role for Mike Fiers
Fiers did not exactly draw much attention in free agency. While there had been rumors that the Blue Jays were interested early on, the A’s were the only team to make an offer. It is possible that his being the whistleblower on the Astros’ cheating scandal hindered his market, but he did not have much of an interest in leaving Oakland either.
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Likewise, his inconsistent 2020 campaign and profile were not exactly the formula for a bidding war. Fiers posted a 4.58 ERA and a 1.373 WHiP over his 59 innings, striking out 37 batters with 16 walks. He has been a solid back of the rotation arm, someone who can typically provide six respectable innings every fifth day.
The problem will be finding a role for Fiers on the 2021 A’s. Puk is penciled in as the A’s fifth starter, but that is entirely contingent on his being healthy enough to handle that role. The ideal scenario would involve his being the A’s long reliever and spot starter, but Fiers will also serve as insurance should Puk not be able to start.
Even should Puk be healthy, the A’s rotation is not exactly a paragon of health. Fiers is a perfect fallback option for the inevitable injuries that will befall the rotation in the coming year. He may not be an All Star, but he is exactly what the A’s need.
Mike Fiers wanted to return to the Oakland A’s. On Saturday, that desire turned into reality.