Athletics

A's have had 'preliminary talks' on Khris Davis contract extension

A's have had 'preliminary talks' on Khris Davis contract extension

OAKLAND — Khris Davis will not be a free agent until after next season, but the A's have already begun discussions about signing him to a contract extension.

"We've had some preliminary conversations about keeping him around longer," executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said Friday. "The good thing is Khris is going to be back next year for sure, no matter what. But we're also aware of the fact that he's going to be a free agent after that. We're aware of his value to the club."

Davis, 30, is under team control for 2019 and is eligible for arbitration. Last year, the two sides avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $10.5 million.

Davis figures to get a significant raise to at least $15 million after leading Major League Baseball with 48 home runs and finishing second with 123 RBI, while incredibly hitting .247 for the fourth straight year.

"I know he's going to hit .247 next year," Beane joked. "We can count on that consistency. We also know he's going to hit 40 home runs. I'm a big fan of the home run."

Indeed Davis has hit 40 or more home runs in each of his three seasons with the A's, joining Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx as the only players in franchise history to reach that number in three straight seasons. Since 2016, he leads all of baseball with 133 homers.

Davis has said he enjoys playing in Oakland and hopes to stay with the A's for years to come.

"I envision myself winning a championship in Oakland," he told NBC Sports California earlier this 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."

Khris Davis is hoping to stay with the A's for 'at least three more years'

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Khris Davis is hoping to stay with the 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 has previously expressed his desire to sign a long-term deal with the A's, and Oakland general manager David Forst has confirmed that discussions are ongoing.

"We've had more multi-year 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 like 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 get 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 position impacts the entire lineup. When he missed nine games last May due to injury, the A's went 3-6, scoring a total of 15 runs. That's not a coincidence.

Davis has also 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 would be wise to get a multi-year deal done 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 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 said. “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 be working 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 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."

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

Despite his dreams, that certainly proved to be the case for the Man of Steal.