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A milestone for Petit: 10 years service time

@MartinJGallegos
September 16, 2020

Before the A’s took the field for Wednesday’s series finale against the Rockies at Coors Field, they took some time to celebrate a major accomplishment. Yusmeiro Petit reached 10 full years of Major League service time on Wednesday, which means he is fully vested in his pension. The milestone is

Before the A’s took the field for Wednesday’s series finale against the Rockies at Coors Field, they took some time to celebrate a major accomplishment.

Yusmeiro Petit reached 10 full years of Major League service time on Wednesday, which means he is fully vested in his pension. The milestone is significant for any player, but the path Petit took to get to this point makes it extra meaningful.

Signed by the Mets in 2001 as an international free agent, Petit began his Major League career in 2006 with the Marlins as a 21-year-old. Struggling with a 5.57 ERA from 2006-09, Petit journeyed out of MLB completely in 2011, leaving for the Mexican Baseball League. It was while he was playing for the Guerreros de Oaxaca that he reinvented himself and learned how to become a true pitcher.

“I knew I had the conditioning, but I didn’t execute the little things I had to do to maintain myself at a high level,” Petit said in 2018. “When I went to Mexico, I realized I had good conditioning and good command that can help me make it in the big leagues. Over there, I learned how to execute all that. I was able to return knowing I can pitch at this level.”

Petit received another shot in the U.S. on a Minor League deal with the Giants in 2012 and took full advantage, emerging as a star on San Francisco’s World Series-winning club in ‘14. After six seasons with the Giants, Nationals and Angels (2012-17), Petit, at the age of 33, earned his first multiyear contract, a two-year deal with the A's worth $10 million, with a club option for 2020 that was picked up this offseason.

The deal has paid off for Oakland, as Petit has been nothing short of dominant in his time with the club. Since joining the A’s in 2018, he leads all Major League relievers in appearances (177) and innings pitched (195 1/3), posting a 2.76 ERA over that span.

Manager Bob Melvin, who managed Petit as a rookie with the D-backs from 2006-09, has witnessed the veteran's complete transformation.

“I told him it feels like he’s been pitching 20 years,” Melvin said. “I was around for day one and year 10 with him. We have a long history together.”

Spring Training schedule announced

MLB announced on Wednesday that 2021 Spring Training presented by Camping World will officially begin on Saturday, Feb. 27, with each of the 30 Major League clubs in action for Cactus and Grapefruit league games. The A’s are set to open their schedule with a road game against the Brewers at Maryvale Sports Complex.

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.