The Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms with left-handed relief pitcher Ryan Buchter on a one-year contract for the 2019 season, avoiding arbitration, the club announced on Thursday. According to reports by Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, the deal was for $1.4 million.
Buchter, in his first year of arbitration eligibility, had a superb season as one of Oakland’s most dependable relievers. The 31-year old lefty went 6-0 with a 2.75 ERA and .219 opponents batting average in 54 relief appearances in his first season with the A’s in 2018.
He allowed just 2-of-30 (6.7 percent) inherited runners to score, which was the lowest percentage in the majors. The 31-year-old left-hander had a .169 opponents batting average against left-handed hitters and .121 with runners in scoring position.
The A’s now have five remaining players on their roster eligible for arbitration: outfielder/first baseman Mark Canha, designated hitter Khris Davis, left-handed starter Sean Manaea, starting shortstop Marcus Semien and closer Blake Treinen.
Before being acquired by Oakland in January of 2018, Buchter spent time with three different teams since his 2014 debut with Atlanta, a stint that lasted one inning.In 2016, he appeared in 67 games for the San Diego Padres, posting a 2.86 ERA in 63 innings and striking out 78. In 2017, he spent time with both San Diego and Kansas City, appearing in a career-high 71 games, and posting a 2.89 ERA in 65 1/3 innings, striking out 65 and walking 26.
Buchter has a career 2.83 ERA in 168 2/3 innings, with 185 strikeouts to 73 walks and a 1.085 WHIP.