On Monday evening, the Athletics lost right-handed relief pitcher Devin Sweet to the Giants via waiver claim.
Sweet was designated for assignment in order to make room for the A's most recent bullpen addition, Trevor Gott.
Sweet was an undrafted free agent signed by the Mariners back in 2018. He played college ball at North Carolina Central.
Sweet spent six years in the Mariners system, reaching the majors for the first time in 2023. He pitched in just two games for Seattle before being DFA'd in August, and was claimed by Oakland.
He pitched in five games for the Athletics, posting a 10.80 ERA with 5 strikeouts and 5 walks in 6.2 innings.
As the Athletics have made a couple small major league additions this offseason, Sweet's spot on the 40-man came more and more into question. Mason Miller was announced as a full-time reliever for 2024, the A's selected Mitch Spence in the Rule 5 draft, and they signed Trevor Gott over the weekend.
Sweet had an excellent year in 2022 at Double-A but struggled through the 2023 season between Triple-A and his brief stints in the majors. He still has two option years remaining, and will likely serve as roster depth for the Giants.
The Athletics' bullpen is starting to come together for 2024
Miller and Gott will join holdovers Kyle Mueller and Sean Newcomb, as well as high-leverage guys Dany Jimenez and Lucas Erceg. Rule 5 pick Mitch Spence could compete for starts depending on performance, but will more likely start the year as a low-leverage relief option.
After the Gott signing, the Athletics have a projected payroll of $34 million, with a $59 million CBT hit. Those numbers are about $20 million shy of where the A's were at in 2023. GM David Forst has said that the team expects to be around the same payroll figure as last year, but without a significant addition somewhere it's tough to see where they'd add $20 million in payroll.
Forst has spoken about the difficulty in signing free agents to multi-year contracts given the fact that the A's don't currently know where they're going to play between 2025-2027. There are still plenty of free agents left on the board, and some definitive holes in the roster that could be addressed, but it's unclear whether the A's will be able to fill them, nor whether they even want to.
John Fisher has never been one to spend big on payroll, and we know that he has to make the $45 million payment to Alameda County for the share of the Coliseum site that they purchased back in 2018.
The A's don't currently have any guaranteed salaries beyond this season. There's still time for Forst and the A's to add more players via free agency and trade, but at the rate things are going I wouldn't hold my breath.