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.

Liam Hendriks rebounds, breaks Rollie Fingers' A's strikeout record

Liam Hendriks rebounds, breaks Rollie Fingers' A's strikeout record

OAKLAND -- One of baseball's most common clichés is that relief pitchers need to have a short memory. A's closer Liam Hendriks has a slightly different variation of that rule.

"I don't know if it's a short memory or just have a really bad memory," he joked Tuesday.

Hendriks suffered a rare blown save in Monday's loss to the Kansas City Royals but bounced back with a dominant ninth inning Tuesday night, as the A's picked up a 2-1 win. 

"I spoke to my wife about it last night," Hendriks told NBC Sports California. "Everything felt good, but it didn't feel good, if that makes any sense. My ball felt light, and that's abnormal for me when I'm going out there.

"But I worked on it a little bit today, made sure I got my legs under me a little bit, and the results were there. I was able to throw some good breaking balls when I needed to and kept them off balance enough where, if I left a fastball in a bad spot, they were able to miss it because I had set them up."

Added A's manager Bob Melvin: "It's very rare when Liam blows a save. He's been great for us all year. So it was good to get him right back in there."

Hendriks set the Royals down in order in the ninth, recording a pair of strikeouts to give him 118 for the season, with 116 coming as a reliever. That broke the A's record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher, previously held by Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers, who had 115 in 1975.

"It was cool," Hendriks said. "It's not something I started the year out after, but as it kept getting closer, I was a little bit aware of it. ... Anytime you get talked about in the same sentence as Rollie Fingers, it's a pretty big deal. I'm just happy to bounce back from last night. Obviously, last night wasn't the best situation for me, but I came back and had that vigor again and was able to put it to bed."

[RELATED: How A's Wendelken has earned Melvin's trust in big spots]

Hendriks has enjoyed a breakout season at the age of 30. The right-hander is 4-3 with 23 saves and a 1.66 ERA with those 118 strikeouts in 81 1/3 innings.

"(The strikeout) is his biggest weapon," Melvin said. "It gets him out of jams with guys on base. He's got a much better slider to keep them off his fastball. His fastball (velocity) is the best it's been in his career. But I think that the command of his breaking ball allows his fastball to play up and he's been striking guys out all year."

With all of the bullpen struggles Oakland has experienced this season, Hendriks has been a godsend. His ninth-inning dominance has allowed the A's to remain in the driver's seat for a second straight postseason berth.

A's vs. Royals lineups: Ramón Laureano gets day off, Josh Phegley returns

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USATSI

A's vs. Royals lineups: Ramón Laureano gets day off, Josh Phegley returns

OAKLAND -- After a disappointing 6-5 loss in Monday's series opener, the A's will try to bounce back against the lowly Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night at the Coliseum.

Oakland will be without outfielder Ramón Laureano, as the team tries to give him plenty of games off in his recovery from a stress reaction in his right shin. Robbie Grossman will replace Laureano in right field and bat eighth.

Josh Phegley returns to the lineup in the ninth position and will handle the catching duties. Phegley has already recorded a career-high 12 home runs and 59 RBI this season.

Veteran left-hander Brett Anderson takes the mound for the A's seeking his 13th win of the season, which would extend his career-high. Anderson, 31, is 12-9 with a 4.07 ERA in 29 starts. In three career outings against the Royals, he is 2-1 with an 8.16 ERA.

Kansas City counters with right-hander Jorge López. The 26-year-old is 4-7 with a 6.09 ERA in 36 games this season, including 15 starts. Lopez has only faced the A's once in his career, allowing five runs in just 1 2/3 innings last month. 

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Royals game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.

Kansas City Royals (56-95)
2B Whit Merrifield
SS Adalberto Mondesí
DH Jorge Soler
3B Hunter Dozier
LF Alex Gordon
RF Ryan McBroom
1B Cheslor Cuthbert
CF Bubba Starling
C Nick Dini

RHP Jorge López (4-7, 6.09 ERA)

Oakland A's (90-61)
SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
1B Matt Olson
CF Mark Canha 
LF Seth Brown
DH Khris Davis
2B Jurickson Profar
RF Robbie Grossman
C Josh Phegley

LHP Brett Anderson (12-9, 4.07 ERA)