Drew Rucinski was the one player listed in the top 50 free agents that the Oakland A’s were expected to at least pursue. That projection became a reality on Tuesday.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the A’s have signed the 34 year old pitcher. Jon Heyman of the New York Post noted that it is a one year deal worth $3 million with a $5 million team option for 2024.
Drew Rucinski an interesting addition to Oakland A’s rotation
Rucinski had spent parts of four seasons in the majors from 2014 through 2018, serving primarily as a reliever. He had posted a 5.33 ERA and a 1.593 WHiP in his 54 innings, striking out 44 batters with 23 walks. The vast majority of his major league experience came in that final season as he served as part of the Marlins bullpen, making 33 appearances in relief.
A move to the Korean Baseball Organization changed Ruckinski’s fortunes. He has spent the past four years with the NC Dinos, posting a 3.06 ERA and a 1.190 WHiP over his 732.2 innings, striking out 657 batters with 191 walks. He had established himself as one of the better pitchers in the KBO, his performance attracting attention stateside before he signed with the A’s.
For the A’s, this is the perfect lottery ticket. There have been some success stories of pitchers coming to the majors after a strong showing in the KBO, with Chris Flexen and Merrill Kelly showing that they are viable options. However, there are also the likes of Aaron Brooks and Josh Lindblom. A one year deal, with an option for a second year, gives the A’s the perfect chance to figure out which side Rucinski will fall on.
The Oakland A’s are taking a chance on Drew Rucinski. He provides another potentially solid addition for a team needing major league talent.