In one offseason, the A’s seem determined to beef up their bullpen to one of the best in baseball.
On Wednesday, Oakland reportedly agreed to a two-year deal with left-handed reliever Eric O’Flaherty, who spent the last five seasons with the Atlanta Braves.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal broke the news. The deal is worth a reported $7 million.
O’Flaherty joins Jim Johnson and Luke Gregerson as the newest members of the A’s bullpen.
The 28-year-old O’Flaherty posted dominant numbers in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and was on his way to another solid year before an elbow injury derailed his season. He underwent Tommy John surgery and won’t be available to pitch for the A’s until at least midseason.
In five seasons with the Braves, O’Flaherty posted an impressive 1.99 ERA in 249.1 innings pitched spanning 295 appearances. 2011 was his standout season when he yielded a minuscule 0.98 ERA in 78 appearances.
If O’Flaherty comes back healthy in July and pitches like he did over the last few seasons, it will essentially be like a midseason trade in which the A’s didn’t have to give up any prospects.
And he could be immensely valuable in a division that now includes lefty sluggers Robinson Cano and Shin-Soo Choo.