Programming note: Watch Sean Doolittle's exclusive interview on Yahoo SportsTalk Live tonight at 5 and 11 p.m. on CSN Bay Area
The A's locked in a major piece of their bullpen for the future, signing lefty Sean Doolittle to a five-year contract that runs through the 2018 season.
The deal includes club options for 2019 and 2020.
Doolittle, 27, has flourished since making a remarkably effective transition from first base to the pitcher's mound part way through the 2011 season. By 2012 he was in the majors and quickly became a key late-inning man for Oakland.
He is 7-6 with a 3.10 ERA and four saves through 122 career appearances. Last season he allowed just two of 32 inherited runners to score, a 6.3 percentage that ranks as the sixth-best in major league history since the stat was first kept in 1974.
Doolittle was set to be eligible for salary arbitration in 2015. Though financial terms weren't immediately available, the A's likely locked in a team-friendly price over the life of the contract, particularly if Doolittle happens to rack up impressive numbers this season that might have been attractive at the arbitration table.