OAKLAND (AP) — Yusmeiro Petit has plenty of familiarity with the Bay Area, and he is confident that pitching alongside old San Francisco teammate and pal Santiago Casilla in Oakland’s bullpen will make for a smooth transition.
Petit finalized his $10 million, two-year contract with the A’s on Thursday after passing a physical.
“It’s nice to come to an organization that makes you comfortable,” he said. “It will help me get used to the team and the culture.”
The versatile right-hander had been at home in Venezuela then traveling in Argentina before arriving in Northern California to complete the deal. Petit is scheduled to earn $3.5 million next year and $5.5 million in 2019, and the contract includes a $5.5 million club option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout.
The stability means a lot to Petit, too.
“Now returning to the Bay Area to be on the team this year and for the foreseeable future makes me feel comfortable,” he said.
He spent the 2012-15 seasons across the bay with the Giants, helping them win World Series in ‘12 and ‘14. During the 2014 postseason, Petit pitched three scoreless innings of relief against the Kansas City Royals in Game 4 to help tie the World Series at two games apiece, and the Giants went on to win in seven games. It was his third scoreless performance of the playoffs that year. He set a major league record by retiring 46 consecutive batters over eight appearances, six in relief, from July 22 to Aug. 28.
Petit went 5-2 with a 2.76 ERA in 60 appearances with one start over 91 1/3 innings last season for the Los Angeles Angels after pitching for Washington in 2016. The A’s watched him closely within the AL West in 2017.
“It was obvious to us that he was kind of the perfect guy for what we need, just his ability to do anything. Obviously when you’ve got a young starting staff and guys who still have developing to do, supporting them in the bullpen is a priority,” general manager David Forst said. “Yusmeiro was a very clear target for us early on.”
Oakland designated infielder Joey Wendle for assignment to clear roster space for Petit.
The 33-year-old Petit is ready to take on any role for manager Bob Melvin on a club that finished last in the division for a third straight year and had the 23rd-worst team ERA in baseball at 4.67.
“I’ve spent time relieving, starting,” Petit said. “I feel comfortable doing any jobs. My main responsibility is to help the team win games.”
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