The A's pulled off their first significant move of the offseason Tuesday by agreeing to terms with left-hander Rich Hill on a one-year $6 million contract, pending a physical, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CSN California.
Hill, an 11-year veteran who turns 36 in March, presumably will slot right into the rotation, adding a needed veteran to a staff that has two young starters coming off season-ending injuries in 2015.
Hill isn't a big-name addition that generates buzz in this deep and talented free agent pitching market. Rather, he's a veteran journeyman who adds depth and, the A's hope, a consistent presence in the middle-to back of the rotation.
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Hill is 26-23 with a 4.54 ERA in 201 games (74 starts) over a career that's been spent with seven different organizations. However, he was excellent last season in his only four big league appearances, all with Boston. Hill went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA in four starts, including a shutout.
He'll likely slot into a rotation that features ace Sonny Gray, Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman and perhaps Chris Bassitt. Hahn and Graveman missed large chunks of 2015 with season-ending injuries.
Right-hander Jesse Chavez -- who could help a team starting or relieving -- is generating trade interest, according to Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan. It makes sense the A's could consider dealing him given Hill's addition.
Robert Murray of Baseball Essential was first to report that the A's had come to an agreement with Hill.
LAS VEGAS -- While the A's focus at the 2018 MLB Winter Meetings understandably is on free agents, they haven't forgotten about their most valuable player.
Khris Davis is set to become a free agent after next season, and A's general manager David Forst said Monday that the team still is discussing a contract extension.
"It continues to be an ongoing conversation," he said. "Khris is going to be here in 2019 no matter what, so the sense of urgency right now is making sure we build the rest of the roster. But Khris is a huge priority for us, and that conversation is always ongoing."
Davis earned a team-high $10.5 million last season, and he's expected to receive a major raise in arbitration. MLB Trade Rumors projects the number to be $18.1 million.
While completing next year's roster is the focus right now, Forst has made it clear to Davis that he is a top priority.
"His representatives know," Forst said. "Not that much time has passed since the last time I talked to Khris' representatives. So it is constantly ongoing."
Davis, 30, has recorded 40 or more home runs and 100 or more RBI in each of his last three seasons, joining Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx as the only two players in A's history to accomplish the feat. Since 2016, Davis leads all of baseball with 133 homers.
"I envision myself winning a championship in Oakland," Davis told NBC Sports California last season. "We've got a great group of guys I like to be around and just grow with them on a daily basis. I like where I'm at right now."
LAS VEGAS -- A's general manager David Forst said the team definitely will add another catcher this offseason, but it's looking like it might not be 2018 starter Jonathan Lucroy.
Lucroy and the A's are far apart on potential salary figures, The San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser reported Monday, citing sources. According to Slusser, the 32-year-old would accept a one-year deal for the right price, but the A's are offering under $5 million, and he wants more than that.
Lucroy earned $6.5 million from the A's last season, but Spotrac lists his current market value at just $2.3 million because of his subpar offensive numbers. He slashed .241/.291/.325 with four home runs and 51 RBI in 126 games.
Of course, Lucroy's value goes far beyond his offensive production. Last season, he helped Oakland's pitching staff navigate through numerous injuries, and he provided stellar defense behind the plate. Lucroy led the majors in runners caught stealing, though he also allowed the most stolen bases.
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Lucroy has shown he is willing to be patient in free agency. He didn't sign with the A's until March last offseason. But this year's catcher market is much deeper, and he could struggle to get his desired salary from anyone.
Some of the other free-agent options at catcher include Wilson Ramos, Yasmani Grandal, Martin Maldonado, James McCann, Matt Wieters and Nick Hundley. The A's also could pursue a catcher via trade.
Currently, Josh Phegley is the only catcher on Oakland's 40-man roster, though the A's have Sean Murphy and Beau Taylor under contract in the minors.