Last year the Oakland Athletics bullpen ranked in the top 10 in terms of ERA and FIP. More advanced metrics didn’t find as much favor with their body of work, as the A’s pen ranked middle of the road in terms of SIERA and xFIP. Given the park they call home, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the A’s relievers posted the second best HR/FB rate, coming in second to the Mariners. Being satisfied with the status quo usually isn’t Billy Beane‘s style, and this offseason he moved around plenty of parts. There are some new faces to don the white cleats as well as some returning contributors, but the key is this team has fantasy relevant talent in this pen outside of the closer.
Johnson may be one of the new guys, but his job is secure as the club’s closer. His strong ground ball rate helps make up for his lack of swing-and-miss stuff and it is impossible to argue his recent work. Over the past two years Johnson leads baseball with 86 shutdowns against 15 meltdowns. For context, Aroldis Chapman has 80 SD and 14 MD and Craig Kimbrel has posted a 76:9 ratio. Johnson is a solid bet to gain saves and good ratios even if he lacks in the strikeout department.
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