The Oakland A’s agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher T.J. McFarland on a one-year contract for the 2020 season, avoiding arbitration. The club also announced that it did not tender contracts to left-handed pitcher Ryan Buchter, right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen and catcher Josh Phegley , making them free agents.
McFarland was claimed off waivers from Arizona on Nov. 4 after compiling a 4.82 ERA and .316 opponents batting average in a career-high 51 relief appearances with the Diamondbacks in 2019. He began the season on the injured list with an inflamed left shoulder and, after a three-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Reno, posted a 6.37 ERA in 19 appearances before the All-Star Break. The 30-year-old left-hander then logged a 3.08 ERA in 32 outings after the break.
Buchter compiled a 2.98 ERA in 64 relief appearances in his second season with the A’s but yielded a career-high .251 opponents batting average. He also had a career-high .799 OPS and allowed 15-of-36 (41.7%) inherited runners to score, which was fourth highest in the American League. The 32-year-old left-hander tossed fewer than one inning in 38 of his 64 appearances and faced two or fewer batters 23 times.
Phegley saw the most extensive playing time of his seven-year career in 2019 and batted .239 with 12 home runs and 62 RBI in 106 games. He ranked third among AL catchers with a .997 fielding percentage but set an Oakland record with 15 passed balls. The 31-year-old right-handed hitter batted .233 with 27 home runs and 131 RBI in 300 games over five seasons with the A’s.
Treinen began the season as the A’s closer but posted a 6.14 ERA over a 19-game stretch from April 28 to June 20 before going on the injured list with a strained right shoulder. He was reinstated July 3 but had no saves and a 6.17 ERA in 27 games following his return. The 31-year-old right-hander was 6-5 with 16 saves, five blown saves and a 4.91 ERA in 57 relief appearances overall.
All other players not already signed for 2020 were tendered contracts, including the A’s seven remaining arbitration eligible players: Chris Bassitt, Mark Canha, Robbie Grossman, Liam Hendriks, Sean Manaea, Chad Pinder and Marcus Semien. The A’s now have 37 players on the 40-man roster.