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Once-dominant setup man Eric O’Flaherty is close to joining the A’s after Tommy John surgery

Jul 3, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Eric O'Flaherty AP AP

Oakland’s bullpen is close to adding left-hander Eric O’Flaherty, who was a dominant setup man in Atlanta from 2009-2013.

O’Flaherty is coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, which is why he managed only a two-year, $7 million contract from the A’s as a free agent despite posting a 1.99 ERA in 250 innings for the Braves.

He’s exactly 12 months removed from surgery, so the A’s may ease him into the bullpen mix with a middle relief role, but if healthy O’Flaherty is a late inning-caliber southpaw with the ability to shut down left-handed and right-handed hitters.

While rehabbing in the minors O’Flaherty made seven appearances at Triple-A with a 4.32 ERA and 5/3 K/BB ratio in 8.1 innings.

  1. rawdog2013 - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    With Abad, Gregerson, Cook, Otero and Johnson (only pitching away games) this should solidify our bullpen. We still need a starting pitcher and infielder who can hit.

    • boogerhill - Jul 3, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      Slipped and fell on a Twinkie wrapper!

  2. APBA Guy - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    It’s getting a little crowded in the A’s bullpen. I’d have switched Doolittle for Johnson in Dog’s list above, and have Johnson and Francis as “showcase” pitchers, or trade-bait, a group that I think will include O’Flaherty as well.

    The A’s would like to keep one of O’Flaherty or Francis, but first one of them has to prove reliable and effective late in the game.

    But more importantly it is time for the G & P Beane to make some moves. Dog is on target for the A’s needs.

    • clydeserra - Jul 3, 2014 at 2:59 PM

      Melvin seems to like a true long arm. But Francis is the only one that gets no time. I think he is the odd person out

  3. bigdinla - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    When healthy O’Flaherty is one of the best in the league! Hopefully they won’t pitch his arm off like Frediot and McDowell did.

  4. Walk - Jul 4, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    I hope he recovers as well. I was also hoping the braves could keep both venters and o’flaherty but that was too much of a risk with both recovering from tommy john. Venters has better velocity and sinker but eric had great control and almost never threw a straight fastball, always cutter or two seam along with slider and a change up. If he comes back to form the a’s are getting a solid reliever.

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