Athletics

A's, Khris Davis, Marcus Semien, others agree to one-year contracts

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USATSI

A's, Khris Davis, Marcus Semien, others agree to one-year contracts

The A's announced Friday that they have agreed to one-year contracts with Khris Davis, Marcus Semien, Jurickson Profar, Sean Manaea, and Mark Canha, avoiding arbitration with all five.

Davis, 31, is the headliner of the group. He will reportedly earn $16.5 million, according to Fancred's Jon Heyman. That represents a $6 million raise from last season, but it's $1.6 million less than MLB Trade Rumors' arbitration projection of $18.1 million.

Davis led all of baseball with 48 home runs last season and finished second with 123 RBI, while batting .247 for an unprecedented fourth consecutive season. He is scheduled to become a free agent following the 2019 season.

Semien's deal is reportedly worth $5.9 million, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. The 28-year-old earned $3.125 million last season and was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $6.6 million in arbitration.

Semien hit .255/.318/.388 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI last season. He also made great strides defensively and was named a Gold Glove Award finalist at shortstop. He still has one more year of arbitration eligibility.

Profar will reportedly earn $3.6 million, according to The Athletic's Robert Murray. The 25-year-old made $1.05 million last season and was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $3.4 million in arbitration.

Profar is coming off a breakout season with the Texas Rangers. He slashed .254/.335/.458 with a career-high 20 home runs and 77 RBI. Profar has one more year of arbitration eligibility.

Canha, 29, will earn $2.05 million, a source confirmed to NBC Sports California. Murray first reported the news. Canha was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $2.1 million in his first year of arbitration.

Last season, Canha hit .249/.328/.449 with a career-high 17 home runs and 52 RBI. He tore up left-handed pitching, slashing .282/.337/.604 with 13 homers and 28 RBI in 149 at-bats.

Manaea will reportedly earn $3.15 million, according to MLB's Mark Feinsand. He was projected by MLB Trade Rumors to get $3.8 million in his first year of arbitration eligibility. The left-hander is still recovering from shoulder surgery and is expected to be out until at least the All-Star break.

Manaea, 26, went 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 27 starts last year before undergoing his season-ending surgery. He tossed the A's first no-hitter in nearly eight years on April 21 against the eventual World Series champion Boston Red Sox.

[RELATED: Sean Manaea could return from injury by 2019 All-Star break]

All-Star closer Blake Treinen is now the A's only remaining arbitration-eligible player. According to Nightengale, Treinen filed for $6.4 million while the A's submitted $5.6 million. MLB Trade Rumors projected the 30-year-old right-hander to get $5.8 million in arbitration after earning $2.15 million last year.

Treinen is coming off one of the best seasons in MLB history, finishing 9-2 with 38 saves and a 0.78 ERA. He recorded 100 strikeouts in 80 1/3 innings, allowing just 46 hits and 21 walks.
 

A's teammates 'respect' Mike Fiers for speaking out against Astros

A's teammates 'respect' Mike Fiers for speaking out against Astros

A's third baseman Matt Chapman isn't the type to dwell on the past, even though the A’s finished runner-up in the AL West behind Houston in 2018 and 2019. But the Platinum Glove winner certainly does see changes resulting from the Astros cheating scandal.   

“The future for them is looking a little different right now,” Chapman said Friday. “And the future for the A’s is exciting.”

It’s not like the sign-stealing tactics in south Texas are news to Oakland A’s players at all. They were tipped off during the 2018 season.   

“Whatever they did, if we would have been more careful, I still think we could have beat them on any given day,” shortstop Marcus Semien said. “And we showed that during the end of the year when we changed the signs and just played our game.”

Players haven’t chatted much amongst each other about the involvement of their teammate, Mike Fiers, who was the named source that put MLB’s entire investigation into motion.

“At the end fo the day, we’re united behind the fact that we embrace what Fiers did,” closer Liam Hendriks said. “We’re trying to clean up the game, and if it takes somebody putting their name to it, that shows a lot of courage.”

As for Fiers being a “rat,” Chapman offered disagreed with that characterization.

“I don’t think it’s right to call him that," Chapman said. "I have nothing but respect for Mike. I think he was put in a tough situation and he did the right thing, and that baseball is going to be better for it.”

As for Fiers speaking out against his former club, Semien applauded the pitcher's actions.

[RELATED: Melvin calls Fiers a 'hero']

“He was approached by the media, and the only one to put his name on it," Semien said. "I totally respect that. Sure there were other sources, he’s not the only one. But we’re happy the game is going to get cleaned up by this.”

Semien also thinks the punishments and firings of manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow will have an effect across MLB.

“The suspensions, they’re serious,” Marcus said. “Teams aren’t going to do this anymore.”

A's Matt Chapman discusses where he ranks among elite third baseman

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USATSI

A's Matt Chapman discusses where he ranks among elite third baseman

OAKLAND -- When it comes to deciding who the best third baseman is in baseball, it could make for an interesting debate.

But we can all agree the defensive edge goes to Matt Chapman, right? Right?! Well, maybe. He has some tough competition. 

I asked him between himself, Rockies' third baseman Nolan Arenado and Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, who would rank at the top. 

"Another one that just got thrown into our division, too, Anthony Rendon, but I've never seen him play -- I would probably say Nolan's probably got the edge right now," Chapman told NBC Sports California. "And then Bregman, because I've never finished in the top three of MVP like those guys have and I've never hit 40 home runs like they have."

"I might have the edge on defense a little bit, but Nolan's a combo of both," he said.

Chapman admitted Bregman has the bat. 

Bregman's numbers have improved over the years and he leaves a .296/.423/.592 line with 41 home runs in 2019. 

"I might have defense over [Bregman], but Nolan has both of us combined it seems like," Chapman said. 

Arenado, well -- his resume is filled with five All-Star selections, seven Gold Glove Awards, three Platinum and four Silver Sluggers. He too, hit 41 home runs last season which tends to be a type of norm for him over his career. 

So Arenado, Chapman's former teammate at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif., wins in his eyes. 

At least for now. 

"I can hopefully give him a run for his money one day," Chapman said. 

The new, defensive stats certainly help Chapman's case. The OAA, or Outs Above Average, stat has been introduced to the world of baseball for stat nerds to salivate over.

Chapman ranks sixth in the metric, in all of baseball -- and you can learn more about that measurement, here. It's something the two-time Platinum Glove winner is curious about. 

"It's cool to have that, but I think Defensive Runs Saved is number one," Chapman said.

He joked he only cares about a defensive stat where he's at the top.

"Maybe because I'm not first in that category, so I don't think it's worth, you know anything," he laughed. "You know, if I'm not the best, then it's stupid."

[RELATED: Fiers looks toward future, past Astros scandal]

"I'm joking about that, but sadly, almost being truthful about that," he said. "I need to know more about how they get that because I feel like I play so deep -- I don't dive on as many balls. I might have to play more routinely and it doesn't look like it's an above-average play just because it doesn't fit that criteria so I have to hear more about it, so defensive runs for me is a good checkpoint."

The A's led the league in DEF (Defensive Runs Above Average) last season with 42.9 and 10th in DRS. Chapman alone ranked seventh in the league in DRS with 18.