As of late November, we still don’t know who will be the closer for the 2014 Oakland A’s, as incumbent Grant Balfour is currently a free agent. However, the A’s made a move on Monday that will likely solidify the middle of their bullpen in an effort to move energy toward the filling of that closer position.
Joe Stiglich of Comcast SportsNet first reported the trade via Twitter, but it was later confirmed (see above) by the Oakland organization. In 2013, Fernando Abad threw 37 quality innings in relief for the Nationals, posting a 3.35 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning. That was a fortunate performance for the 27-year-old lefty, as he had previously struggled in 2 Major League seasons with Houston, and that effort earned him a clear job in the Oakland ‘pen for next season.
The big win for Oakland in this deal is that they acquired a legitimate asset for 2014 without giving up anything of value. Wooten is considered to be a non-prospect by the majority of scouting services, and if Abad can reproduce what was a 0.3 fWAR season in 50+ innings, it’ll be a steal for the A’s.