Just days after taking a significant step towards improving their starting rotation, the Oakland Athletics have designated Brad Mills for assignment. The move was done to create room on the active roster for the addition of Jason Hammel.
Mills has had a somewhat peculiar season to date. He’d signed a minor league deal with the Milwaukee Brewers before the season and pitched extremely well at Triple-A. He made 14 appearances, including 12 starts, in which he posted a 1.56 ERA and 0.920 WHIP across 75.0 innings of work. Mills’ contract contained an opt-out clause that he was set to exercise in mid-June, as the Brewers had expressed no interest in bringing him up to the big league club (where their own starters have been highly consistent this season).
Rather than losing him for nothing, the Brewers allowed the A’s to purchase Mills’ contract from them for a total sum of $1.
Mills stepped right into Oakland’s rotation, making three starts before Monday’s designation. He allowed eight earned runs on 19 hits, including a pair of home runs, with seven walks in 16.1 IP. His last two starts were stronger than the first, as he’d pitch into the 7th inning in each.
Oakland values their pitching depth and is likely hoping that Mills ends up passing through waivers unclaimed. If so, the organization will be able to send him down to Triple-A and retain him as depth for later in the year. Mills’ success in the minor leagues this season might be enough for a team with a need in their rotation to take a chance on a waiver claim.