Mike Fiers
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Report: Athletics close to re-signing Mike Fiers

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Free agent right-hander Mike Fiers is nearing a deal with the Athletics, Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported Saturday. While it doesn’t appear the deal has been formally announced yet, Morosi hears it’s a two-year contract “between $14 million and $15 million.”

Fiers, 33, first arrived in Oakland last August during a multi-player trade from the Tigers. The veteran righty finished out his eighth major-league campaign with a cumulative 12-8 record in 31 starts and a 3.56 ERA, 1.9 BB/9, 7.3 SO/9 and 1.4 fWAR through 172 innings for the two clubs, then was non-tendered by the Athletics in November. Those results present a marked improvement over his two-year tenure with the Astros in 2016-2017, however, and something the A’s will be able to sink their teeth into as they look for more stable contributors to bring them back to the cusp of another division title in 2019.

Right now, the Athletics are poised to enter the 2019 season with some combination of right-handers Daniel Mengden, Aaron Brooks, Paul Blackburn, Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas (and, possibly, left-handed prospect Jesus Luzardo) in their rotation. They placed 20th among all major-league rotations in 2018 with a collective 4.17 ERA and 7.8 fWAR, worse than every division rival save the no. 27 Rangers.

Marlins sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year, $3.25 million deal

Brandon Kintzler
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Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.

The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.