Trevor Hoffman steps aside, for one game at least

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Trevor Hoffman hasn’t officially been stripped of closer duties yet, but is expected to be unavailable for several days while working on his mechanics. Carlos Villanueva got the nod as the fill-in closer yesterday and protected a 4-3 lead with a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the season.
Villanueva’s overall career numbers aren’t particularly impressive thanks to his mediocre performances as a spot starter, but he has a 3.87 ERA and 242 strikeouts in 244 innings as a reliever, including a 2.91 ERA, .182 opponents’ batting average, and 27/8 K/BB ratio in 22 innings this season.
He lacks typical closer velocity, but so has Hoffman for the past two decades and at 26 years old Villanueva is certainly capable of holding down the job if the Brewers decide to give up on the struggling all-time saves leader.

Report: Athletics sign Trevor Cahill to one-year deal

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Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.

Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.

The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.