A familiar face will be in the Athletics organization once again.
The team announced on Wednesday they signed designated hitter Khris Davis to a minor league deal. He has been assigned to their affiliated Arizona Complex League. It’s a reunion the team is excited to have.
Davis, 33, had been traded to the Texas Rangers in February on the other side of the Elvis Andrus deal, where he later was released in June.
The 2018 MLB home run leader (48 homers) had signed a two-year extension with the A’s during the 2019 season. A beloved staple in the Oakland clubhouse, Davis’ numbers began to tail off. He had been struggling with an oblique injury that appeared to be more of an issue than was discussed.
Despite his consistent .247 batting average that ultimately turned into a sports’ stats oddity from 2015-’18, he finished the 2020 A’s season slashing .200/.303/.329 with only two home runs and 17 hits.
He was batting .157 when he was designated for assignment by the Rangers that led to the release.
A’s manager Bob Melvin has a tendency to grow particularly close to the players and had been very open on how Davis was one of his favorite humans ever.
“Given an opportunity, we’d love to have him back in the organization,” manager Bob Melvin told reporters on Wednesday (h/t MLB.com).
“It’s giving an opportunity for him to get back to where he was in the past, and he hasn’t had the opportunity here recently, so we’ll see what happens in Triple-A.
When Melvin heard of Davis’ DFA, he was hoping he would find a new opportunity.
"You can't help but think how impactful he was here -- how consistent he was here for several years,” Melvin said in June. “I hope he does get another opportunity and I hope he gets off to a good start."
For now, his journey will start in Triple-A. When Davis’ bat is hot, historically he’s shown how lethal he is to opposing pitchers. Playing in Las Vegas and the PCL, where the balls fly, could be the confidence boost he needs in order to make some sort of impact on the team should they give him a chance.
“In the beginning, it probably had a little something to do with his injury, and then just kind of snowballed into something that he would have a tough time getting out of,” Melvin said. “I think confidence would probably have a lot to do with that. [Triple-A] Las Vegas is a pretty good place to get the ball in the air and hit some home runs, so I don’t put anything past him.”
It was clear the A's are happy to see him return to the organization he wanted to be a part of through his entire career.