Yusmeiro Petit was the Oakland A’s best free agent signing
By David Hill
Yusmeiro Petit was not the type of free agent that would generate headlines. A solid middle reliever and bullpen workhorse, he does not have the high octane fastball of most modern relievers. Nonetheless, he has been quietly effective over his career, the perfect bridge to the later innings.
Despite his track record of success, Petit did not generate much interest in free agency. He eventually signed a one year deal worth $2.55 million just after spring training began, returning to the Oakland A’s for a fourth season. As the A’s had to rebuild their bullpen, bringing Petit back made perfect sense.
Yusmeiro Petit has been the Oakland A’s best free agent signing
The expectation was the Petit would continue to be that solid reliever, helping to bridge the gap to the eighth and ninth innings. He would generate weak contact and get those key outs, inducing ground ball after ground ball. It may not be a glamorous role, but it is a vital one.
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What was unexpected is that Petit would be the A’s best free agent signing this offseason. However, he has been exactly that, leading the A’s with a 1.5 bWAR. He ranks second on the team with four wins while posting a 0.79 ERA and a 0.838 WHiP over his 22.2 innings, striking out 15 batters with just three walks.
Petit has also continued to be that workhorse in Oakland’s bullpen. He has typically ranked amongst the league leaders in appearances, with this season being no different. Petit has already made 20 appearances on the year, leading the American League. As the A’s have battled injuries in the rotation, his role has been even more important.
At 36 years old, Petit is entering the latter stages of his career. He will eventually slow down, losing that effectiveness that has made him such an integral part of the A’s bullpen. However, he is not showing any signs of that just yet, as he is already posting one of the best seasons of his career.
The Oakland A’s needed to bring back Yusmeiro Petit to shore up their bullpen. They just did not expect him to be their best free agent signing.