01/29/10 7:21 PM EST
Wuertz, A's avoid arbitration
Right-handed pitcher agrees to two-year deal with an option
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
The contract is reportedly worth $5.25 million.
The 31-year-old reliever was the only remaining arbitration-eligible player on the A's roster. Last week, the club agreed to one-year contracts with outfielder Rajai Davis and newly acquired third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff.
"It's definitely comforting having that out of the way now," Wuertz told MLB.com from his Scottsdale, Ariz., home. "It's nice to have a little security for me and my family for the next couple years.
"I'm happy we were able to get something figured out pretty quickly because I really enjoyed my time with the club last year, and now this will hopefully make it more of a home for me."
The A's reliever is especially thankful for the multiyear facet of the contract, which he said will ease his mind about securing a settled work location for at least a couple years with his family -- including 7-month-old son Braxton -- in tow.
Wuertz quietly represented one of the top setup men in all of baseball last season, posting a 6-1 record with four saves and a 2.63 ERA in a team-leading 74 appearances for the A's. Furthermore, he led American League relievers and tied for second in the Majors with a career-high 102 strikeouts, which also signified the sixth-highest total by a reliever in Oakland history.
The 12-year veteran, who spent his first 11 seasons with the Cubs organization before being dealt to Oakland last offseason, enjoyed a career-high first season with his new team. Wuertz's saves represented a career-high, as did his innings pitched (78 2/3).
Wuertz said he's been working out by his home in Scottsdale since the beginning of January and is more than ready to join fellow pitchers and battery mates in Arizona on the A's Feb. 20 reporting date.
"I get to work out and then come home and be a dad," he said. "This is a great situation for my family."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.