The Oakland Athletics announced the signing of free agent RHP Yusmeiro Petit to a two-year deal with a club option for 2020. To make room for Petit on the 40-man roster, the A’s designated Joey Wendle for assignment.
News of the Petit signing leaked last week, but the A’s didn’t make it official until Thursday. The veteran right-hander was one of the top relievers in baseball last season, when he posted a 2.76 ERA in 91.1 innings for the Angels. Petit struck-out 101 and walked only 18. He led all American League relievers in innings pitched and should help an A’s bullpen that didn’t have many multi-inning relievers last season. Liam Hendriks led A’s relievers in innings pitched with 64.
Petit made his major league debut with the Marlins in 2006. He has a career 4.31 ERA in 628.1 innings. Petit was a member of the Giants from 2012-2015 and was a significant part of their 2014 World Series team. A starter early in his career, Petit has been mostly a reliever since 2015, but he could serve in a swingman-type role for Oakland over the next few seasons.
Petit takes the roster spot of Wendle, who found himself stuck behind Jed Lowrie, Franklin Barreto and Chad Pinder on the A’s second base depth chart. Wendle, who joined the A’s in 2015 in exchange for outfielder Brandon Moss, hit .285/.327/.429 for Triple-A Nashville in 2017. Wendle spent most of the past three seasons with the Sounds and is the franchise-leader in doubles.
Wendle missed the first part of the 2017 season with a right shoulder injury. Once his shoulder returned to full strength, Wendle saw some time at shortstop and third base for the first time in his career. Over the past three years, Wendle has improved defensively at second and his ability to play at shortstop and third base now should open opportunities with some team at the big league level.
Wendle didn’t join the A’s big league roster until September this year, but he had a memorable stint with Oakland. In 13 at-bats, he had four hits, including a grand slam in Philadelphia, where he had many friends and family members in the stands.
Assuming Wendle doesn’t return to the organization as a non-roster player, his spot in Nashville in 2018 should be taken by Max Schrock, who hit .321 for Double-A Midland last season.
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