Oakland A’s: Three battles to watch in spring training
By David Hill
Oakland A’s battle for the ninth inning
Throughout the offseason, the Oakland A’s had maintained that Jake Diekman would be their closer in 2021. As they began to accumulate other left handed relievers, that seemed more and more likely.
Diekman had a strong showing in 2020, posting a 0.42 ERA and a 0.938 WHiP as he was one of the finalists for the All MLB 2020 Team out of the bullpen. However, he also issued 12 walks in his 21.1 innings, continuing a career long trend of questionable control. Add in a lack of closing experience, and he appeared to be a shaky option.
He was expected to have competition from Lou Trivino. Like Diekman, Trivino has not closed in the majors before, with four career major league saves. He has also been relatively inconsistent in his career, sandwiching a rough 2019 campaign between two solid seasons.
Meanwhile, on Sunday night, the A’s signed Sergio Romo to a one year deal. While Romo has filled a variety of roles in his career, he has also spent time as a closer, notching 134 career saves. He provides the A’s with a veteran option for the ninth inning.
Chances are, Sergio Romo will be the Oakland A’s closer to begin the season. But this is another battle that could last through spring training.