Resop happy to be part of A's strong relief corps

PHOENIX -- When the A's were in the midst of their historic push for an American League West crown last September, Chris Resop was taking note 2,500 miles away -- specifically of Oakland's dominant bullpen.

A couple months later, the Pirates right-hander was dealt to Oakland for Minor Leaguer Zach Thornton, putting the seven-year veteran right in the mix.

"It's pretty much an honor," Resop said of being a part of the A's relief corps. "They trade for you to put you into their bullpen, knowing that they have one of the best bullpens. Obviously, they think highly of you and they respect what you do."

Resop avoided arbitration with Oakland by signing a $1.35 million contract in January. Last season, in 61 appearances during which he threw 72 2/3 innings, Resop posted a 3.91 ERA.

As for his new role in a loaded Oakland 'pen, he's still trying to figure that out.

"I have no idea," Resop said. "This bullpen is tremendous from top to bottom. I've had conversations with a few of the guys, and it's like, 'We don't even know.' Everybody in the bullpen can do pretty much anything here."

But there may be no one more multi-faceted than Resop, who, as a righty, shut down lefties last season to the tune of a .237 average. He also threw multiple innings 23 times in 2012.

"When you talk about our team and versatility, he's one of those guys," manager Bob Melvin said. We feel like he's a guy that can give you multiple innings. He gets left-handers out, he could set up for you if he had to and he's a bulldog. His focus and how he goes about his business on the mound has stood out."

In 2 2/3 innings this spring, Resop has yet to give up a run.

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.