With a very thin market for relief pitching, there aren’t a whole lot of options for the Dodgers this offseason. The biggest name available was Will Smith, but he signed with the Atlanta Braves last month. However, a new name just hit the market, and it’s one the Dodgers should take a look at.
Blake Treinen was surprisingly non-tendered by the Oakland A’s earlier this week. Now, if you look at his numbers from last season, it’s easy to see why. But if you look at what he did the previous two years, it’s tough to see why’d they part ways with arguably one of the better relief pitchers in the game.
Let’s get this out of the way now. I know that he had a pretty bad season last year in Oakland. He had a 4.91 ERA in 57 games, and his WHIP was 1.62. His walks-per-nine was nearly six, and he was allowing nearly a hit an inning.
However, if you go back a season, he was the best reliever in all of baseball. No, that’s not a stretch, he was clearly the best reliever in the game.
In 2018, Treinen finished the season with a 0.78 ERA. In 68 games. He allowed only seven runs the entire season. His ERA+ was 531, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen it that high, ever. He struck out 11 batters per nine innings, and had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of nearly five-to-one. Oh, and he had a FIP of 1.78.
Just a year prior in 2017, he was still showing flashes of being potentially the best bullpen option in the game. After being traded from Washington to Oakland mid-season, he posted a 2.13 ERA and a WHIP of 1.16. He was averaging 10 strikeouts per nine, and his ERA+ was just under 200.
Over that year-and-a-half, he was lethal.
Check out his highlights from the 2018 season.
Since he’s coming off the worst season of his career, the Dodgers might be able to sign him at a discounted rate. Had he been a free-agent a year ago, his price would likely cost what we saw Smith signed with Atlanta for, maybe even more. But now, as he enters his age 32 season, LA might be able to sign him to a short and affordable contract.
They could take a one-year flyer on him, and sign him to a deal worth maybe around $6-8 million or so. Or, maybe they take a huge risk and sign him to a multi-year deal, with the hopes of him regaining his form from just one season ago.
Yes, this could be a risky move, and maybe that incredible run we saw from him is no more. However, if he does still have some left in the tank, the Dodgers would be acquiring one of the best relievers in all of baseball.
UPDATE: The Dodgers have reportedly expressed interest in the reliever.
The Dodgers have expressed interest in Blake Treinen, per source. Treinen was arguably the best reliever in baseball in 2018 before struggling in 2019. The A’s non-tendered him earlier this week.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) December 5, 2019