Oakland Athletics sign left-handed pitcher Alex Wood

The Oakland Athletics have reportedly signed lefty Alex Wood to a major league contract
San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics
San Francisco Giants v Oakland Athletics / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

According to Robert Murray of FanSided, the Oakland A's have signed left-handed pitcher Alex Wood to a major league contract. The terms are unknown as of yet.

Wood pitched the last three seasons for the Giants. He started 64 games for them, putting up a 4.41 ERA with a respectable 3.85 FIP in 367 innings. He was held back by injuries in 2023, starting just 12 of the 26 games he appeared in while missing time to both a hamstring strain and back tightness.

He's never been much of a strikeout pitcher and his numbers dipped a bit in 2023. His 17.2% strikeout rate was the worst of his career, and it was the first time that figure dipped under 20% since 2019. He also walked nearly 10% of batters last year, easily the worst mark of his career.

Wood was much better for the Giants out of the bullpen than he was as a starter in 2023. He posted a 2.68 ERA out of the pen, compared to a mark of 6.08 when used as a starter. Additionally, his wOBA allowed was a strong .298, compared to .370 out of the rotation.

It's unclear what the plan will be for Wood in Oakland. The assumption for now is that he'll enter spring training with the idea that he'll be a starter and he can shift to the bullpen if his performance warrants that.

As it stands, the Athletics rotation depth is quite thin. JP Sears and Paul Blackburn are locked into their roles at the top of the rotation, but beyond that there should be some competition between the guys involved.

Luis Medina doesn't have any minor league options left, so he's expected to be on the opening day roster. Joe Boyle pitched well enough at the end of last year to get a chance to win a job in spring training. Beyond them, it's mostly question marks, including Ken Waldichuk whose health status is still unknown.

For now, we'll assume that this is a one-year deal for Wood. GM David Forst has spoken about the difficulty of signing players to long-term deals due to the unknown factor of where the team will play games between 2025-2027.

We'll update this article as we learn more about the situation.