MESA, Ariz. — Star gamers usually don’t keep in an A’s uniform for lengthy.
Khris Davis desires to be an exception.
The talks of a long-term contract for Davis have floated round over the previous couple of seasons. Now set to develop into a free agent after the 2019 season and watching what number of high quality gamers nonetheless stay and not using a group this spring, it’s onerous for Davis not to consider his future.
“It’s not an excellent factor being a free agent proper now,” Davis mentioned. “It’s going to impression it rather a lot. That’s the way in which the enterprise is. I’m already 31 so I don’t know if I’m too outdated, there’s plenty of issues that run via my head for it.”
Who can blame Davis for feeling a bit nervous about presumably turning into a free agent?
Other than stars Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, who nonetheless stay unsigned, it has been a wrestle for a lot of gamers to seek out groups. Guys who have been as soon as thought of locks to earn good cash are having to accept minor-league offers.
“Groups have totally different fashions nowadays,” A’s supervisor Bob Melvin mentioned. “It’s extra of a pay-for-what-you’re-going-to-do versus pay for what you’ve achieved up to now.
“I feel it takes everyone a bit aback taking a look at among the contracts being signed proper now, however I feel groups are doing a bit extra homework and making an attempt to construct their groups a bit in another way and extra environment friendly.”
A’s common supervisor David Forst has remained in contact with Davis’ agent a couple of potential contract extension and is keen to proceed these discussions into the season if Davis would love.
The slugger — he led the majors in residence runs final season with 48 — is in search of at the least three extra years, which he understands is exterior the norm for the way the A’s normally do enterprise. Marcus Semien is presently the A’s longest-tenured participant, getting into his fifth season with the membership.
“That’s a very long time to be an Oakland A,” Davis mentioned of his three-year request. “But when anyone can do it, I assume it’s me, hopefully.”
The numbers Davis has put up in his time with the A’s would assist him as the perfect candidate to interrupt that mildew.
Because the A’s acquired him in a commerce with the Milwaukee Brewers simply earlier than the beginning of the 2016 season, Davis has been essentially the most prolific hitter in baseball. His 133 residence runs are essentially the most of any participant over that span.
However Davis’ worth goes past his means to launch baseballs into the higher depths of the Oakland Coliseum. His lack of ego and selflessness actually embodies the kind of tradition the A’s have established of their clubhouse. He brings a blue-collar work ethic, one which rubs off on youthful gamers and symbolizes what town of Oakland is all about.
“I feel he’s been nearly as good a match right here as among the nice gamers up to now right here,” Melvin mentioned. “He looks as if the proper match for our metropolis and for our group. The angle he has, he’s a famous person that has an on a regular basis workman-like mentality. He doesn’t need the highlight.”
Have been it as much as Melvin, Davis would have already got the contract extension he wishes. Whereas he stays involved on the considered probably shedding his star participant subsequent yr, he believes Davis’ love for the group would assist them fend off different potential suitors.
“He’s at all times implied to me desires to be right here, however you additionally must do what’s greatest for your self and your loved ones as effectively,” Melvin mentioned. “If push got here to shove and all the pieces was equal, I feel we’d have a leg up on the potential different touchdown spots for him.”
Davis mentioned Melvin was complimentary of him through the group’s assembly earlier than their first full-squad exercise of the spring, which truly gave him a bit extra hope that his spot in Oakland is safe, at the least for this upcoming season.
“We’ll see,” Davis mentioned. “I don’t assume they’ll commerce me so long as we’re doing good. So we higher do good so I don’t get traded.”
For now, Davis will do his half to assist the A’s of their quest again to the playoffs because the on a regular basis cleanup hitter.
It’s a lineup that not options 2018 All-Star Jed Lowrie within the No. three spot proper in entrance of Davis after the second baseman signed with the New York Mets this offseason. As a substitute, Jurickson Profar takes over at second base.
Although Profar may not bat third within the order, Davis seems ahead to including one other hitter with 20-plus homer energy someplace within the order.
“It’s going to be totally different however I feel Profar goes to step in and explode,” Davis mentioned. “He’s dynamic and has acquired an awesome smile. Taking part in towards him in Texas was powerful.”
Hitting 50 residence runs is one private objective for Davis. However the one he focuses extra on group objectives.
No matter whether or not or not he’s again subsequent season, Davis desires to ensure this one ends with the A’s going additional than they did in final yr’s wild-card loss towards the Yankees.
“No matter numbers come, come,” Davis mentioned. “I do know I’ve been tagged with sure numbers round my head, however I simply wish to get deeper within the playoffs and create one thing in Oakland.”