After already landing former All-Star closer Jeurys Familia two weeks before the trade deadline, and Washington Nationals middle relief man Shawn Kelley on Sunday, the Oakland Athletics finally added a starter to a beleaguered rotation with a trade on Monday.
Late Monday morning, the A’s announced that they had acquired right-hander Mike Fiers from the just-departed Detroit Tigers in exchange for two players to be named later or cash considerations. Fiers was rumored to be an A’s target in the hours leading up to the trade deadline on July 31, but no deal was consummated.
Fiers, 33, did not face Oakland during the A’s sweep of the Tigers this weekend, but did throw seven innings against them on June 27 in Detroit, allowing one run on five hits with five strikeouts. That start began a stretch where Fiers has gone 2-2 in seven starts with a 1.96 ERA and a .228 batting average against.
Fiers was 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA and .258 opponents batting average in 21 starts with Detroit this season. He has walked just 26 men in 119.0 innings and his average of 1.97 walks per nine innings is eighth lowest in the American League.
The A’s have had 12 different pitchers start games this season, but still have managed a 3.84 team ERA — 10th best in the major leagues, and fourth in the American League. That number, though, is bolstered by the fifth-best bullpen in the majors. The starters, have a 4.41 ERA.
Fiers has held the opposition to a .165 batting average with runners in scoring position, tied for third lowest in the AL.
Originally selected by the Brewers in the 22nd round of the 2009 draft, Fiers has pitched for Milwaukee from 2011-15, where he was teammates with A’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy. He also played Houston (2015-17) and Detroit (2018) in his eight seasons in the majors. He was traded to the Astros at the 2015 deadline and went 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA in 10 games with Houston down the stretch, including a no-hitter on Aug. 21, 2015. He then signed with the Tigers as a free agent following the 2017 season.
In his career, Fiers is 49-53 with a 4.06 ERA in 162 games, 144 starts, in his career.
To clear a spot on the 40-man roster the A’s designated left-handed pitcher Jeremy Bleich for assignment.