Athletics

Bob Melvin: Managing against Mike Scioscia made me 'get better'

Bob Melvin: Managing against Mike Scioscia made me 'get better'

ANAHEIM — A's manager Bob Melvin and Angels skipper Mike Scioscia have had dozens of battles over the years, but there is a deep underlying respect between the AL West rivals.

After Sunday's season finale, Scioscia held an emotional press conference announcing he would step down as manager of the Angels.

“I've had an incredible 19 years,” he told reporters. “It's been just awesome.”

Scioscia, 59, was the longest-tenured manager in Major League Baseball, joining the Angels in 2000 and leading them to their first-ever World Series title in 2002. Melvin has gone up against Scioscia since 2003 as manager of the Mariners, Diamondbacks and now the A's.

“I know from managing against him as long as I have, he's made me work hard and prepare harder, and I would say get better,” Melvin said. “When you manage against Mike Scioscia, you better be ready for just about anything.”

Scioscia went 1,650-1,428 in his 19 seasons with the Angels. But Melvin isn't convinced Scioscia is done managing.

“To me, he's one of those guys who I think would go to his grave managing,” Melvin said. “I can't imagine him not doing something somewhere else. He's terrific at it -- it seems like he loves it. He's into it every inning, every game, even in a spring training game. He's one of the elite managers in the league. I have a hard time believing this is going to be his last day managing.”

Scioscia said he was open to the possibility if it came along.

“I have a deep passion for this game," he said. "I love it. I love managing. But in this game, you never know if, where or when an opportunity comes. And I'm fine with that. If something comes and I get another chance, great. If not, believe me, I'm going to take the great experience I had here and just move forward with it. It's been terrific.”

Khris Davis contract extension 'an ongoing conversation' with A's

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USATSI

Khris Davis contract extension 'an ongoing conversation' with A's

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."

MLB rumors: Jonathan Lucroy, A's far apart in contract negotiations

MLB rumors: Jonathan Lucroy, A's far apart in contract negotiations

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.

[RELATED: A's staying patient in pitching pursuit as MLB Winter Meetings begin]

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.