The Oakland A's had plenty of difficult decisions to make by the non-tender deadline on Wednesday night. With 13 arbitration-eligible players on their 40-man roster, the A's had to decide whether to offer guaranteed contracts to more than 32% of their roster. In the end, the A's signed five of those players, extended contracts to seven others and non-tendered Ike Davis.
Davis had an injury-plagued 2015 season with the A's. When Oakland acquired Yonder Alonso earlier on Wednesday, the writing was on the wall that Davis would not return to the A's in 2016. Davis hit .229/.301/.350 in 72 games with the A's this season. He also made two relief appearances and tossed two scoreless innings. He is now a free agent.
The A's agreed to terms with Felix Doubront, Sam Fuld, Andrew Lambo, Marc Rzepczynski and Eric Sogard. They also tendered contracts to Josh Reddick, Jarrod Parker, Brett Lawrie, Danny Valencia, Alonso, Fernando Rodriguez and Evan Scribner. For the players that the A's tendered contracts to, Oakland will have to go to arbitration with those players if they don't agree to terms before the arbitration hearing deadline.
Oakland also added former San Francisco Giants prospect Eric Surkamp to their non-roster invitee list to major league spring training. Surkamp joins the A's minor league free agent signee list. The North Carolina State alum zoomed through the Giants system after being drafted in the sixth round in 2008. He was a post-season Cal League All-Star in 2010 and a post-season Eastern League All-Star in 2011. Surkamp made his major-league debut in 2011, starting six games for the Giants that year. In 2012, he injured his elbow during spring training and eventually had Tommy John surgery.
Surkamp returned to the mound in 2013 and he had a 2.80 ERA in 16 minor league starts. He made one appearance in the majors with SF. That off-season, the Giants designated Surkamp for assignment and he was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. He spent half of that season in the White Sox's bullpen, posting a 4.81 ERA in 24.1 innings. This season, Surkamp began the year in Triple-A with the White Sox and had a 2.81 ERA in 25.2 innings before he was traded to the Dodgers for Blake Smith. He had a 3.57 ERA in 88.1 innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City and he made one appearance for the Dodgers at the big league level.
Surkamp is a soft-tossing lefty with good secondary offerings and a deceptive delivery. He has been a starter for the majority of his career, but Surkamp has experience in the bullpen, as well, and could fill a variety of roles for the A's or the Nashville Sounds.