Athletics

Evaluating A's free agents in 2018 MLB offseason: Trevor Cahill

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Evaluating A's free agents in 2018 MLB offseason: Trevor Cahill

(Over the next week, we will be examining each of the A's free agents to determine which players are most likely to return in 2019.)

Trevor Cahill was two completely different pitchers in 2018. There was Home Trevor Cahill and Road Trevor Cahill.

Home Trevor Cahill was spectacular, going 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 11 starts. Road Trevor Cahill was among the worst in the league, with a 2-3 record, a 6.41 ERA, and 1.58 WHIP.

Overall, Cahill was 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, solid numbers for a 30-year-old veteran. But after a strong start, the right-hander struggled to a 4.55 ERA the final three months after returning from a strained right Achilles.

Cahill earned $1.5 million for the season.

Why the A's should re-sign him

At 30 years old, Cahill should be in his prime for another few years, if he can stay healthy. He had some impressive stretches this past season, particularly at the Coliseum, where he was downright dominant in a few outings.

Cahill doesn't figure to draw significant interest around the league and should once again be affordable if the A's choose to re-sign him. He could provide depth in the starting rotation, especially early in the season while youngsters A.J. Puk and Jharel Cotton recover from last year's Tommy John surgeries.

Why the A's should let him go

Based on the last few seasons, Cahill is probably a number-five starter at best. He also dealt with elbow and back injuries this season, as well as the strained Achilles. Oakland might choose to move on from the veteran right-hander and turn to younger options like Frankie Montas, Daniel Mengden or top prospect Jesús Luzardo.

Verdict

This is a tough call. You could make a strong case either way, but we'll lean toward Cahill not returning next season. Between his road struggles, injuries, and recent history, the A's probably have better options in the starting rotation. That said, you can never have too much pitching depth, and if Cahill is open to another one-year deal in the range of $1.5 million, he could wind up back in Oakland after all. Stay tuned.

Khris Davis hopes he’ll stay with A's for 'at least three more years'

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Khris Davis hopes he’ll stay with A's for 'at least three more years'

Khris Davis is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, but if he has his way, he'll remain in Oakland for years to come.

"I want to stay here at least three more years," Davis told the Associated Press and other reporters Sunday in Arizona. "I’d like to be here. I hope something gets done."

Davis, 31, agreed to a $16.5 million salary for this year to arbitration. He previously has expressed his desire to sign a long-term contract with the A's, and Oakland general manager David Forst has confirmed discussions are ongoing.

"We've had more multiyear conversations with Khris," Forst said last month. "He knows that it's continuing."

Last season, Davis led all of baseball with 48 home runs and ranked second with 123 RBI. His 133 homers over the last three years also led the MLB. But Davis has taken notice of the slow free-agent markets the last two offseasons, with stars such as Bryce Harper and Manny Machado still unsigned into spring training.

"It’s not a good thing being a free agent right now," Davis told reporters. "For my security, it’s going to impact a lot. That’s the way the business is. I’m already 31, so I don’t know if I’m too old."

Davis also knows the way the A's tend to operate, and if they fall out of contention this season, there's a chance he could be traded. That's just more motivation for him to lead the team back to the playoffs.

[RELATED: Revisiting A's signing of Céspedes seven years ago]

“I don’t think they’ll trade me as long as we’re doing good," he told reporters. "So we better do good so I don’t get traded.”

Of course, Davis' value goes far beyond the numbers. His presence in the cleanup spot impacts the entire lineup. When he missed nine games last May because of injury, the A's went 3-6, scoring 15 total runs. That's not a coincidence.

Davis also has become a tremendous leader in the clubhouse, not to mention a fan favorite, and despite all of his accolades, he has never had an ego. Talk about a perfect fit for Oakland.

The A's might be wise to get a multiyear deal done with Davis as soon as possible.

Rickey Henderson wanted to play for Raiders, but A's wouldn't let him

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Rickey Henderson wanted to play for Raiders, but A's wouldn't let him

This isn't the A's first go-around with a two-sport star.

Long before Kyler Murray spurned Oakland in favor of pursuing his NFL dreams, Rickey Henderson had ideas of starring on both the baseball diamond and the football field.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Henderson had the approval of Raiders owner Al Davis to play for the Oakland football team, but the A's shut it down.

"When Bo Jackson first came into the league, I went to Al Davis to go play football and he was going to let me be a two-way player,” Henderson told Slusser. “The Oakland A’s said, ‘Oh, no way. You’re not going out there. That’s not going to happen.’

"That was my chance, and I missed it," Henderson continued. "I always used to tell Bo (Jackson) and Deion Sanders, ‘I could have done that, played both sports, but the A’s said they weren’t going to let me.’ That was my dream."

Henderson, who is serving as a visiting instructor for the A's at spring training, was looking forward to spending some time with Murray, but he doesn't blame the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for pursuing a career as a professional quarterback.

"It’s always a tough choice,” Henderson said of the two-sport predicament. “It’s really what you love, and his love really was football. People try to compare his decision and my decision, but mine was different. I came out of high school and I had time to grow in baseball, and he came out of college, he didn’t have as much time with baseball."

Henderson won't work with Murray this spring, but he's not ruling it out altogether. He sees Murray's decision to pursue an NFL career now as coming with some theoretical insurance, and remember, the A's retain his baseball rights.

[RELATED: As Murray chooses NFL, A's 'don't regret the pick at all']

"So he can see if it works out with his love, and if not, he can fall back on baseball,” Henderson said.

Surely, Murray hopes things work out for him in the NFL. But if not, perhaps baseball is where he's supposed to be.

Despite Henderson’s dreams, that certainly proved to be the case for the Man of Steal.