Buchter agreed to a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Athletics on Thursday, avoiding arbitration, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. The southpaw put up a strong season in the Oakland bullpen in 2018, producing a 2.75 ERA and a 41:15 K:BB in 39.1 innings of work. With the contract out of the way, Buchter figures to to reprise his role as the top lefty in the Athletics' bullpen for the 2019 campaign.
Buchter (2-0) fired a scoreless eighth inning in a win over the Tigers on Tuesday, allowing a hit and two walks while recording three strikeouts. It was an eventful inning for Buchter to say the least, one that took him 24 pitches to get through. The left-hander sandwiched strikeouts of Leonys Martin and Victor Martinez around a Jeimer Candelario double and an intentional walk of Nick Castellanos. After issuing a free pass to Niko Goodrum, Buchter then got himself of the bases-loaded jam by striking out John Hicks after falling behind 2-0. Manager Bob Melvin has opted to put Buchter right to work following his two-month absence due to a shoulder injury, as he's called on him on back-to-back nights since his activation from the disabled list.
Buchter, who was activated from the disabled list earlier in the day, surrendered an earned run on one hit without recording an out in a win over the Tigers on Monday. The southpaw was brought on in a matchup-based move to face the same-handed Leonys Martin, but he faltered by allowing a ground-rule double to the Tigers outfielder. Buchter was subsequently charged with an earned run after exiting when Martin crossed the plate on the three-run home run that Lou Trivino surrendered to Nick Castellanos. It was only the third earned run overall on Buchter's ledger so far this season, and despite the stumble, he'll retain his role as a top left-handed relief option.
Buchter (shoulder), who's likely to be activated at some point during the three-game series against the Tigers that begins next Monday, fired a scoreless one-third of an inning for Triple-A Nashville on Friday. He recorded a strikeout on three pitches. Buchter mowed down Willie Calhoun, the only batter he faced, to open the eighth inning. The 31-year-old lefty appears ready for a return to the big-league club after working a total of 5.1 innings over six minor-league appearances. He'll presumably slot back into a middle-relief role in the Athletics bullpen upon activation, a role he's parlayed into a 1.69 ERA over 13 appearances thus far in 2018.
Buchter (shoulder) was credited with the win in Triple-A Nashville's victory over Round Rock on Thursday, allowing a hit, uncorking a wild pitch and recording a strikeout over a scoreless seventh inning. The recovering reliever has now pitched five scoreless innings across five minor-league outings, and he remains on track for a return to the big-league club next week. The 16 pitches Buchter threw Thursday brought his rehab total to 71 overall, which would appear sufficient to both corroborate the fitness of his shoulder and condition his arm for a return to relief work at the big-league level.