June 13, 2021

Blake Treinen and the Dodgers Are a Great Match (FanGraphs)

At the end of 2018, Blake Treinen was riding high. He finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting, a placement befitting his absolutely outrageous season. He threw 80 innings of 0.78 ERA, 1.82 FIP relief, the best relief season by RA9 WAR in the 21st century and the sixth best by fWAR. He earned a $6.4 million salary in arbitration, and entered 2019 as the anchor of a fearsome bullpen.

Ten days ago, the A’s chose not to tender Treinen a contract. The dominant days of 2018 looked far gone; Treinen was below replacement level this year, and it’s easy to see why: his walk rate spiked from 6.7% to 13.9%, while his strikeout rate concurrently fell from 31.8% to 22.2%. Where a year ago he was an elite strikeout pitcher with a below average walk rate, this year he was just bad. His nine home runs allowed were also a career worst, and the combined package just didn’t work at all.

So when the A’s non-tendered him, it was somewhat surprising but not unthinkable. They run a shoestring operation, and spending on relievers is a risky way to spend scarce resources, particularly when said reliever was so bad last season. He wasn’t due much of a raise in arbitration — MLB Trade Rumors…

Read “Blake Treinen and the Dodgers Are a Great Match” at FanGraphs