Athletics

A's lineup: Brand new spot for Pinder; Mengden makes first start of 2017

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USATI

A's lineup: Brand new spot for Pinder; Mengden makes first start of 2017

Bob Melvin and Terry Francona issued their lineups for today's series opener in Cleveland.

In addition, the A's placed Kendall Graveman on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain (retroactive to May 26) and recalled Daniel Mengden from Triple-A Nashville.

Mengden will make his first start of 2017 today.

A's (22-27)
1. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Chad Pinder (R) SS
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) LF
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) DH
7. Stephen Vogt (L) C
8. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
9. Matt Joyce (L) RF
P. Daniel Mengden RHP 

Indians (25-23)
1. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
2. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Carlos Santana (S) 1B
5. Edwin Encarnacion (R) DH
6. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
7. Yan Gomes (R) C
8. Bradley Zimmer (L) CF
9. Austin Jackson (R) RF
P. Carlos Carrasco RHP (4-2, 2.93 ERA)

Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty, and Matt Olson gave A's plenty of value

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Khris Davis, Stephen Piscotty, and Matt Olson gave A's plenty of value

The 2018 A's became the first team in MLB history to make the playoffs after starting the season with the lowest payroll, but they got plenty of value beyond Opening Day. 

Forbes' Robert Kuenster compiled a list of players who hit 25 or more home runs in 2018, and broke down how much each team paid per home run. Three A's -- slugger Khris Davis, outfielder Stephen Piscotty, and first baseman Matt Chapman -- reached the mark, and compared favorably to the rest of the bigs. 

The A's got the most value with Matt Olson. Olson hit 29 homers on a $547,500 base salary, so Oakland paid about $18,879 per Olson dinger. That was the eighth-lowest mark in all of baseball. Piscotty's $37,037 per home run ($1 million divided by 27) was the lowest price among any 25-homer hitter who made six figures. 

Each of Khris Davis' 48 home runs was worth $218,570, or the 18th-highest. Still, only one of the players ahead of him was within five home runs of his final, MLB-leading total (Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez).

The A's will have cost certainty with Olson (still under team control) and Piscotty (signed through 2024) for the foreseeable future, but the same can't be said of Davis. 2019 is his final year of arbitration, and he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. 

Oakland's front office said a payroll increase will happen next season, and a potential Davis extension figures to be part of that. Considering how valuable Davis was this season, paying more per home run would still be money well spent. 

A's Khris Davis wins Edgar Martinez Award because he actually was a DH

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USATSI

A's Khris Davis wins Edgar Martinez Award because he actually was a DH

It turns out playing the position is important for winning a positional award.

A's slugger Khris Davis won the Edgar Martinez Outstanding DH Award Tuesday as the AL's best designated hitter.

[RELATED: A's have had 'preliminary talks' on Khris Davis contract extension]

Davis beat out Boston Red Sox DH/outfielder J.D. Martinez for the honors. Earlier this month, though, Martinez edged Davis in winning the AL Silver Slugger as a DH and as an outfielder. 

Martinez had a superior statistical season to Davis overall, save for home runs. But Davis beat Martinez where it mattered. 

He was a better designated hitter. 

[RELATED: Mr. Consistent: A's DH Khris Davis makes crazy MLB history]

Before your Inner Mike Francesa pipes up and calls Davis a compiler, remember this is an award for designated hitters. Martinez had a historic 2018, and surely would have won the award had he played the position more.

But he didn't, and Davis took home some hardware after a career year of his own.