Oakland Athletics: Three options at closer

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Liam Hendriks #16 of the Oakland Athletics reacts to striking out Josh Reddick #22 of the Houston Astros to end the eighth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 07: Liam Hendriks #16 of the Oakland Athletics reacts to striking out Josh Reddick #22 of the Houston Astros to end the eighth inning in Game Three of the American League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 07, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

Anthony Bass

We’ve already seen a slow-paced and cheaper free-agent market this year as fallout from the 2020 pandemic-shortened campaign. This is a two-sided issue for the Oakland Athletics. While Oakland should be able to take advantage of this cheap market, especially with relief pitchers, we’re unsure of their ability to spend this offseason.

Anthony Bass may be the perfect solution. The journeyman has played on six MLB teams in just his nine years of MLB experience. And, for the most part, he’s pitched to average marks.

The 33-year-old right-hander owns a career 4.32 ERA and 1.324 WHIP. Arguably, his best two MLB seasons came in 2019 and 2020 with the Seattle Mariners and Blue Jays. In 2019, Bass threw 48 innings, recording a 3.56 ERA with five saves.

He then moved onto the Blue Jays and assumed the closer role following injuries to Ken Giles. During this replacement, Bass recorded seven saves and pitched to a 3.51 ERA. This isn’t exactly elite production from the closer role, but it’s solid.

If the market continues its trend, then this offers Oakland an opportunity to sign Bass to a short two or three-year deal. And as we’ve already discussed, Oakland seems to be a location that relief pitchers seem to revitalize their careers, much like down with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Next. Potential landing spots for Liam Hendriks. dark

Bass is excellent at preventing free baserunners and giving up the long ball. Throughout his nine-year career, he averaged 0.9 HR per nine innings and only allows 3.3 walks. If the Oakland Athletics can provide adjustments to give him an uptick from his 6.4 strikeouts per nine, then Bass has the opportunity to revitalize his career here.