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Sean Doolittle Signs an Extension with Athletics

Word has just come down that Oakland Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle has signed an extension with the team. The financials haven’t been announced yet, but the contract ensures he will be donning the green and gold for 5 more years, thru 2018. The deal also includes club options for 2019 and 2020.

Sean Doolittle has been an integral part of the Oakland bullpen since being called up in 2012. The past couple of seasons, Doolittle was a key setup man for the recently departed Grant Balfour. This season, he was expected to do the same with the acquisition of Jim Johnson, but when Johnson struggled to start the season, Doolittle and Luke Gregerson have been called upon to close out games.

With this deal, it is reasonable to suspect that the Athletics see Sean Doolittle as their closer of the future. Johnson is only signed through this season, and will most likely be moving on following the 2014 campaign. This leaves the door wide open for the former first baseman to claim the closer role in 2015.

The Athletics were smart in locking him up early, avoiding arbitration, if he is to become their closer. He would command a much higher total cost if the A’s planned on keeping him, but instead will pay a little extra now, to avoid paying more down the road.

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  • Robert Larrance

    I like Sean, but am I the only one that has noticed that he just gives up too many runs to be the ‘closer’? As a setup man, or someone that faces just left handed batters in late innings as needed he is very good. But, he seems to fatigue easily, has little that fools right handed hitters and isn’t reliable enough to count on day in/day out. Right now he’s filling a spot unexpectedly created by Johnson’s ineffectiveness. But Gregerson is the more likely candidate to lean on for saves, handling batters from both sides of the plate better and displaying much more energy day to day. This looks like Billy positioning for a trade within a year, maybe this fall when a pennant race forces a team to come calling for help. As usual, the A’s will come out better from the deal.