Oakland Adds to Rotation, Trades Detroit for Mike Fiers
A day after acquiring reliever Shawn Kelley in a trade with the Washington Nationals, the Oakland Athletics continue to try to improve their pitching as the dog days of summer continue. Monday afternoon, the Athletics made a trade with the Detroit Tigers for starting pitcher Mike Fiers and will give the Tigers either two players to be named later or cash.
Fiers, who took a line drive off the shin on August 1st which forced him to leave his start against the Cincinnati Reds, was scheduled to start on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. The Tigers happened to just finish up a three-game series over the weekend with Oakland in which they got swept. Now the right-hander will head back to Oakland Coliseum as the Athletics get ready to take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in a brief two-game series starting on Tuesday.
So far this season, the right-hander has gone 7-6 with a 3.48 ERA in 21 starts for the Tigers. He has pitched 119 innings while striking out 87 and walking just 26 batters. Since the start of July, Fiers has pitched in five games (not counting the shortened August 1st start due to injury) and allowed three or less earned runs in each of them while going at least six innings or more. Since the MLB Trade Deadline already passed, Fiers first had to clear waivers in order to be traded to Oakland. Clearly, no team with a higher waiver priority than the Athletics chose to pick him up which made the trade between the two teams possible.
Prior to the deadline, a trade between Detroit and Oakland for Fiers was in the works but the details could not be worked out, and he remained put in Detroit. Now not only is Fiers on the Athletics, but he is under the club's control for the 2019 season due to salary arbitration. The move puts Fiers in a rotation that consists of ace Sean Manaea, Brett Anderson who bounced around and managed to find his way back to Oakland this year, and a pair of journeymen in Trevor Cahill as well as Edwin Jackson. Their starting pitching has worked to a 4.41 ERA season but coupled with a bullpen that has been dominating, a team ERA of 3.84 which is 10th-best in the major league.
As mentioned in the previous article, the Athletics have been on a roll, going 20-8 in their last 28 games to move into the second American League Wild Card spot ahead of the Seattle Mariners and just 2.5 games back of the New York Yankees for the first spot. They added to the back end of their bullpen with the trade for Kelley which could help split up innings and lighten the workload for starters like Fiers. Either way, Oakland continues to make moves as they look to make noise in the final months of the season and potentially in the playoffs.
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