Athletics

Breaking down A's projected contract arbitration salaries for 2019

Breaking down A's projected contract arbitration salaries for 2019

The A's have several key players eligible for arbitration this offseason. Each year, MLB Trade Rumors projects arbitration salaries for every team. Here are the numbers they project for Oakland in 2019...

Khris Davis - $18.1 million

When you lead all of baseball in home runs, you're obviously going to get paid. The A's were able to avoid arbitration with Davis last season, agreeing to a one-year, $10.5 million deal. They will try to do the same this offseason, but whatever the number is, Oakland will happily pay it. Davis has earned every penny.

Mike Fiers - $9.7 million

Fiers earned $6 million in 2018, so this would represent more than a 60 percent raise for the right-hander. Whatever the number ends up being, the A's will have a hard time letting Fiers go, especially with all the injuries they are still dealing in their starting rotation.

Marcus Semien - $6.6 million

Semien put together a stellar all-around season, improving his defense tremendously. This number would be more than double his $3.125 million salary in 2018, but the A's will likely pay it.

Blake Treinen - $5.8 million

This is the no-brainer of all no-brainers. Treinen had one of the greatest seasons by any closer in baseball history, while earning just $2.15 million. The A's will pay whatever the number ends up being.

Sean Manaea - $3.8 million

Unfortunately, Manaea is expected to miss most, if not all of the 2019 season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Nonetheless, the A's will keep their ace around and hope he comes back as strong ever.

Kendall Graveman - $2.5 million

Graveman underwent Tommy John surgery in August, meaning he won't be able to pitch until 2020, when he is 29 years old. The right-hander was Oakland's Opening Day starter this season but struggled right from the get-go. It may be time for the A's to part ways with Graveman.

Chris Hatcher - $2.4 million

Hatcher struggled in limited action this season. It would be hard to imagine him returning to Oakland.

Cory Gearrin - $2.4 million

The A's have a deep enough bullpen where they can probably let Gearrin walk for this number.

Liam Hendriks - $2.1 million

Despite a rough outing in the Wild Card Game, Hendriks was terrific in the month of September. The A's could very well bring him back for this number, which is just $200k more than his $1.9 million salary in 2018.

Mark Canha - $2.1 million

The A's have a crowded outfield, but Canha provided some serious power against left-handed pitching, while earning just $547,500. For just a shade over $2 million, he will likely be back next season.

Chris Bassitt - $1.6 million

Bassitt provided nice depth in the rotation when the A's were hit with the injury bug, but he spent most of the season in the minor leagues. He seems unlikely to be back for this number.

Ryan Buchter - $1.3 million

This would be a bargain for Buchter, who did a great job as Oakland's lone left-handed reliever for most of the season. He only earned $555k in his first season with the A's, making his 2.75 ERA even more impressive.

Josh Phegley - $1.2 million

Phegley proved more than capable of being a solid backup catcher. He earned $905k this past season, and a raise to $1.2 million seems reasonable.

Ryan Dull - $900k

Dull bounced up and down between the minors and majors, but primarily struggled at the big league level. He likely won't return.

Jake Smolinski - $800k

Smolinski was not a factor for the A's and is unlikely to return.

A's 2019 projections: Mike Fiers looks to repeat strong performance

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USATSI

A's 2019 projections: Mike Fiers looks to repeat strong performance

Editor's note: Over the next few weeks, NBC Sports California will be analyzing a different A's player each day to project their numbers for next season.

When the A's non-tendered Mike Fiers in November, it seemingly marked the end of his tenure in green and gold. But just a few weeks later, Oakland re-signed the veteran right-hander to a two-year, $14.1 million deal, addressing their need for starting pitching.

Fiers performed well last year after coming over from the Tigers. The 33-year-old made 10 appearances with Oakland, including nine starts, going 5-2 with a 3.74 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. For the season, Fiers went 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 172 innings. In eight career seasons, he has an ERA of 4.04.

Fiers was especially effective at the Oakland Coliseum, going 3-0 with a 2.91 ERA in six starts. While he is not necessarily a strikeout pitcher, he does a great job limiting walks and should benefit from the A's solid defense behind him.

Baseball Reference projects Fiers to go 10-9 next season with a 4.22 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. They also predict 139 strikeouts in 160 innings.

We expect better numbers than that for Fiers, who will anchor the A's rotation, especially during the first half of the season. Although he allows a high percentage of fly balls, pitching at the Coliseum will benefit him, as will Oakland's stellar defense.

[RELATED: Fiers' two-year contract makes A's look like geniuses]

Last year marked Fiers' best season since 2014 when he posted an ERA of 2.13 with Milwaukee. He seems to be getting better with age as he continues to hone his command and mix his pitches. We see no reason for that to change next season.

Projection: 13-8, 3.69 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 141 K, 171 IP

Source: A's unlikely to re-sign reliever Shawn Kelley in free agency

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USATSI

Source: A's unlikely to re-sign reliever Shawn Kelley in free agency

Shawn Kelley played a significant role in the A's stellar bullpen last season, but NBC Sports California has learned the veteran right-hander is unlikely to re-sign with Oakland.

Kelley, 34, has reportedly been in talks with about 10 teams, and his agent Mike McCann confirmed to NBC Sports California that the A's are not among those clubs.

The two sides did have conversations earlier this offseason but have not spoken since Oakland signed right-hander Joakim Soria to a two-year, $15 million deal nearly a month ago.

Kelley earned $5.5 million last season and is projected to get a similar amount next year. As much as the A's would like to bring him back, they have identified starting pitching as a higher priority.

After joining the A's from the Washington Nationals last year, Kelley went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.78 WHIP in 19 games. Overall, he finished the season 2-0 with a 2.94 ERA and 0.90 WHIP in 54 appearances.

He has a career ERA of 3.67 in 10 big league seasons.

Even without Kelley, the A's will boast one of the strongest bullpens in baseball next season. Oakland will bring back All-Star closer Blake Treinen, as well as setup men Fernando Rodney, Lou Trivino, J.B. Wendelken, and Ryan Buchter.

The addition of Soria will add even more depth to the group.

The A's would ideally like to sign another left-handed reliever to join Buchter in the pen, but again, starting pitching is the top priority.

Veteran starters Edwin Jackson and Brett Anderson are both still in the mix to return, though nothing appears imminent.