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A’s Avoid Arbitration with Blevins and Moss

January 18, 2013

Left-handed reliever Jerry Blevins and first baseman Brandon Moss both avoided arbitration with the A’s by signing one-year contracts. Blevins, a key piece of the A’s bullpen, posted a 2.48 ERA in 2012, but weak peripherals (7.4 K/9, 3.4 BB/9 and 1.0 HR/9) led to a higher 4.21 FIP making him worth just 0.1 WAR across 65 1/3 innings of work. He allowed a very low .224 BABIP and very high 84.4% strand rate leading one to think his true talent level is closer to the four ERA mark than the two and a half. Using another metric of a ratio of shutdowns to meltdowns, Blevins got the job done more often than not recording 14 shutdowns to five meltdowns. His being paid $1.1M is slightly higher than WAR says he ought to be paid, but given that he consistently pitches below his FIP I think the deal is very reasonable and of good value to Oakland.

Moss meanwhile had a breakout year with the A’s posting 2.4 WAR in 296 plate appearances. Moss who had 21 home runs, homered once every 12.6 at bats which had he been eligible via at bats would have topped the American League (Edwin Encarnacion‘s home run every 12.9 at bats led the AL in 2012). Moss hit .291/.358/.596 posting an incredible .402 wOBA and stratospheric 160 wRC+ primarily platooning against right-handed pitchers.  Moss looks to potentially enter that platoon again in 2013, sharing time at first with Chris Carter. Regardless, if Moss can keep this up this $1.6M deal is beyond a steal as the A’s who signed him to an MiLB deal in 2012 got $10.8M worth of production out of him.

With these two transactions the A’s have signed all of their arbitration eligible players.

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