Athletics

MLB arbitration projections: Salary figures for 12 A's candidates

MLB arbitration projections: Salary figures for 12 A's candidates

The A's have 12 players who are eligible for arbitration this offseason, which could lead to some difficult decisions.

MLB Trade Rumors has released its annual arbitration projections for every team in MLB. Here are the salary figures they expect for Oakland:

Marcus Semien - $13.5 million
Blake Treinen - $7.8 million
Jurickson Profar - $5.8 million
Liam Hendriks - $5.5 million
Mark Canha - $4.9 million
Sean Manaea - $3.5 million
Robbie Grossman - $3.3 million
Chris Bassitt - $2.8 million
Josh Phegley - $2.2 million
Ryan Buchter - $1.8 million
Chad Pinder - $1.8 million
Jharel Cotton - $800k

Right off the bat, it appears that the A's will have four strong non-tender candidates: Blake Treinen, Jurickson Profar, Robbie Grossman, and Ryan Buchter. Josh Phegley is another possibility, though he is expected to return.

As dominant as Treinen was in 2018, the A's can't afford to take a $7.8 million gamble on a 31-year-old who struggled with his performance and injuries this season. Liam Hendriks overtook Treinen as the closer and is a much better bargain at an estimated $5.5 million.

As we detailed on Tuesday, Profar is a strong trade or non-tender possibility for a couple of reasons. The 26-year-old had a mostly disappointing season in 2019, both at the plate and in the field. With Sheldon Neuse, Jorge Mateo, and Franklin Barreto all waiting in the wings, not to mention Chad Pinder, Profar isn't worth bringing back at nearly $6 million.

Grossman could be a decent fourth outfielder option, but $3.3 million seems a little pricey, especially with Chad Pinder and possibly Seth Brown filling that role. The A's also have Dustin Fowler and Skye Bolt for depth purposes.

Buchter posted respectable numbers as a left-handed relief specialist, going 1-1 with a 2.98 ERA and 1.43 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings. However, he will lose a great deal of value next season when pitchers must face a minimum of three batters. That means he will have to face more right-handed hitters, a group that has given him significant trouble throughout his career.

[RELATED: Oakland mayor Schaaf confirms A's could relocate to Vegas]

Not surprisingly, Marcus Semien is in line for the biggest raise of anyone on the team. The 29-year-old is projected to earn $13.5 million next season, more than double his $5.9 million salary this year.

Semien certainly earned that raise, slashing .285/.369/.522 with 33 home runs, 43 doubles, 92 RBI, and 123 runs scored, while playing phenomenal defense at shortstop. The only question is whether the A's will sign Semien to an extension, as he is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season.

Mark Canha, Sean Manaea, Chris Bassitt, Chad Pinder, and Jharel Cotton should all be no-brainers to return at their respective salary projections.

Khris Davis' first home run of 2020 MLB season thrills A's teammates

Khris Davis' first home run of 2020 MLB season thrills A's teammates

Khris Davis connected for his first home run of the season in the A’s 11-1 thumping of the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.

It was a shot to left centerfield, into the A's bullpen filled with teammates. 

As he rounded the bases, the bullpen stood up and cheered for him. Starter Frankie Montas, in the dugout, looked more excited than Davis was.

“He needed that, you know?” Montas told reporters after the game. “Just for him to be able to have that day today -- it was huge for him.”

Davis had a stellar 2018 season hitting 48 homers, the most in the league that year. He followed that with a tough 2019 and even rougher beginning of the 2020 season. 

This was well-needed.

“All the way around, really good at-bats,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He felt good today, and you could tell he looked comfortable in the box today so it’s a good start. We’ll see where we go from here, but obviously we know this guy is one of the bigger bats that we’ve had in this organization.”

Davis also showed discipline at the plate with a nine-pitch at-bat in the fifth inning during an eight-run outburst for the A’s. He ended up walking after fouling off four pitches. That at-bat was what led outfielder Stephen Piscotty to believe something was about to happen. Well that, and the fact that Davis made a prediction before the game.

[RELATED: A's eight-run inning on two outs, not a rare feat]

“He looked great today,” Piscotty said. “It was funny -- in BP, he said he was going to go off, and he sure did.”

“We’ve been seeing it,” Piscotty said. “He’s been working really hard and putting the time in and it was nice to see it pay off.”

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

A's takeaways: What you might have missed in 11-1 win over Mariners

A's takeaways: What you might have missed in 11-1 win over Mariners

BOX SCORE

Well, that was fun -- if you’re the A’s, who went on to win their third straight game and take the series from the Seattle Mariners with a 10-1 win Monday night.

The A’s managed to have a game-changing inning in the fifth where they scored eight runs … all on two outs. In total, the A’s had 26 baserunners in the victory.

Here’s what you missed in the A’s-Mariners game:

Heck of an inning

Eight runs were scored in the top of the fifth inning with two outs.

After Khris Davis walked, Stephen Piscotty singled to left field and then per usual, the fun started thanks to the bat of Ramón Laureano, who singled to right field which scored both Piscotty and Davis. 

Then the coin went into the merry-go-round.

Bryan Shaw replaced Justus Sheffield, and the A's added a run on a passed ball. Mark Canha, Chad Pinder and Davis picked up RBI singles, and Piscotty doubled in the final run. Throw some more walks in there, and you have an eight-run inning from the A’s.

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Davis was due, and delivered

In the top of the seventh, Davis hit his first home run of the season on a line drive to center field.

… and the bullpen, and Frankie Montas celebrated accordingly:

Davis also showed more patience at the plate against lefty Sheffield. That walk was the beginning of the eight-run inning for the A’s.

Montas was marvelous

We can’t forget about the strong outing from Frankie Montas. 

In seven innings, Montas struck out nine, while allowing four hits and just one earned run. The hits he did give up weren’t even hard-hit balls. His four-seam fastball has been averaging 95.8 mph this season and he’s been relying on his sinker about 52.5 percent of the time.

[RELATED: 2020 MLB Power Rankings]

And check out this gorgeous splitter:

A masterful performance by Montas.