Minor league players are beginning to opt into free agency, with the Oakland A’s depth being hit hard.
A pair of players are already looking for opportunities elsewhere, as Matt Davidson and Luis Barrera have both decided to head into free agency. Reliever Adam Kolarek is set to join them as he has elected free agency as well.
Oakland A’s could lose bullpen depth with Adam Kolarek
It seemed as though Kolarek could be an important part of the A’s bullpen. After middling success with the Rays, he became a dominant reliever with the Dodgers. Kolarek posted an impressive 0.88 ERA and a 0.848 WHiP in his 30.2 innings over 46 games, striking out 22 batters with six walks. He was the perfect lefty piece for their relief corps.
So much for the best laid plans. Kolarek did not have anything close to that degree of success in Oakland, posting a 5.74 ERA and a 1.800 WHiP in his 26.2 innings. He issued 13 walks while striking out 13 batters, both rates trending in the wrong direction. He ended up bouncing between Triple-A and the majors, a depth piece that would be called up as needed.
Kolarek may be able to find another major league team willing to take a chance on him. He did have his run of success not that long ago, making him a potential bargain in free agency. Chances are, a team will be able to land Kolarek on a minor league deal, bringing in a potentially solid relief option that has not even reached arbitration yet.
It is entirely possible that he returns to the A’s as well. Their bullpen situation is better than one may have expected, but there are still a few openings. Kolarek is the type of low cost signing that they will look to make this offseason, potentially keeping him on their radar.
The Oakland A’s could lose yet another depth option to free agency. Adam Kolarek is the latest minor leaguer to head to the open market.