June 22, 2024

Athletics sign  SF Giants, Dodgers pitcher to one-year contract

Former SF Giants left-handed pitcher Alex Wood is heading across the Bay Bridge for 2024, signing a one-year deal with the Oakland Athletics.

Alex Wood will be staying in the Bay Area next season. The former SF Giants left-handed starting pitcher signed a one-year, $8.5 million contract with the Oakland Athletics. While the deal has been finalized and announced by the team, the agreement was first reported by FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray.

Wood got off to a promising start with the Giants this season prior to landing on the injured list. In the final year of a two-year, $25 million contract, Wood ultimately struggled to overcome injuries and an inconsistent role on the pitching staff. Wood finished the year with a 4.33 ERA (4.47 FIP), 74 strikeouts, and 42 walks in 97.2 innings pitched (29 appearances).

For much of the season, Wood was limited to a bullpen role, and it was well-publicized that the lefty became vocal about his frustration with his usage.

In 12 starts in 2023, Wood recorded a 6.08 ERA and opponents continued to see the ball better against him as the game went on –– a .825 OPS the first time through, .850 the second time and 1.005 the third time. As a reliever, he was effective and allowed just 15 earned runs in 50.1 innings of work.

The Giants signed Wood to a one-year deal prior to the 2021 season after a pair of injury-riddled campaigns. He took advantage of the opportunity with his best season since 2018. He posted a 3.83 ERA in 138.2 innings pitched during the Giants’ 107-win season and added 4.2 shutout innings in the NLDS.

In 2022, Wood posted comparable peripheral numbers in 130.2 innings pitched. However, a combination of bad luck and the Giants defensive struggles led him to post the worst ERA of his career in a season where he threw at least 100 innings (5.10).

An 11-year MLB veteran, Wood was a consistent mid-rotation starter from 2013-2018 with Atlanta and the Dodgers. Over that span, he posted a 3.29 ERA in 803.1 innings pitched and was selected to the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.

Issues with injuries, though, prevented Wood from establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in the game. Traded to the Reds before the 2019 season, injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic limited him to fewer than 50 innings pitched from 2019-2020. With that said, the Dodgers deployed Alex Wood out of the bullpen late in the 2020 season, and he was an excellent contributor during the team’s run to the 2020 World Series.

SF Giants starting pitcher Alex Wood throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2023.

While no one expects the Oakland Athletics to reach the playoffs in 2024, Alex Wood should receive ample opportunity to reestablish himself in the team’s starting rotation. On a one-year deal, a strong first half from Wood could also make him a trade target of a contender looking to upgrade their pitching staff late in the season.

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