Athletics

A's slugger Khris Davis unimpressed with himself, but excited about team

A's slugger Khris Davis unimpressed with himself, but excited about team

OAKLAND -- Khris Davis smiled and laughed in the clubhouse as he tossed two tennis balls to closer Blake Treinen before Sunday's 4-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

It was the same infectious smile the A's slugger displayed during Oakland's home-opening win against the Los Angeles Angels on March 28, a victory in which Davis homered in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Following the game, he was asked by a member of the media if he'd been impressing himself, Davis laughed and said he tries to. Fast forward to Sunday and he said he was definitely not in that same mind frame, but laughed when asked if he was impressing himself.

He wasn't, he said as he smirked.  

"I'm just working through this tough time I’m going through right now, but I’m trying to not put too much pressure on myself -- and not try to impress myself, just be a good teammate and help win ballgames," Davis told NBC Sports California.

And he's doing just that. 

"Our record's pretty good," Davis said on the A's performance as of late. "How many games are we over .500? Like 15? The team's shaping out really good, we’re getting great pitching and we’re winning some late ballgames."

Davis also complimented Matt Olson's performance at the plate and Ramón Laureano, who he said was hitting well before he landed on the injured list with a stress reaction in his right shin. 

And as far as pitching goes, Davis said Mike Fiers really has impressed him.

"Fiers has put us on his back and has been pitching really well," Davis said. "I think we took a big hit with Frankie Montas getting suspended, but he’s [Fiers] really picked it up on the pitching since then. Liam [Hendriks] has been pitching great -- not lately -- had some tough outings, but he’s stepped it up quite a bit."

In his last 10 games, Davis is slashing .200/.268/.280 with 10 hits and just one home run.

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And somehow, after saying he was going through this onerous time, he remained smiling.

He said in order to fix how he's feeling, he just needs to go out there and have some fun. And the way he got his teammates to laugh with him by simply using a tennis ball or two, it didn't appear it would be too difficult to accomplish. 

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Source: Free agent second baseman Eric Sogard interested in A's return

Having a lefty bat at the second base position continues to be one of the A's main focuses this offseason

That could mean reuniting with Eric Sogard. A source tells NBC Sports California the 34-year-old is open to returning to Oakland.

Sogard, currently a free agent, had an exceptional campaign in 2019 slashing .290/.353/.457 with 13 homers across 110 games with the Blue Jays and the Rays. He was part of the Tampa Bay squad that came to the AL Wild-Card Game in Oakland and celebrated in the visitors' clubhouse.

A's fans remember the outcome of that. 

The second baseman spent six seasons with the A's from 2010-15 where he accumulated a .239 average with eight home runs and 105 RBI. 

The A's traded second baseman Jurickson Profar to the Padres on Dec. 2, so they have a need at the position.

Despite picking up a talented second baseman during Thursday's Rule 5 Draft, the team will still seek a more prominent starter at the position. 

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The A's reportedly are interested in bringing current Mets second baseman Jed Lowrie back for the third time -- but there are 10 million reasons as to why the Mets wouldn't make a trade.

Did we mention Sogard bats left-handed yet?

2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft: A's lose Mark Payton, acquire minor leaguers

2019 MLB Rule 5 Draft: A's lose Mark Payton, acquire minor leaguers

As teams headed down south to the Winter Meetings in San Diego, the two main goals for the A's appeared to be finding a left-handed bat at second base, as well as continuing conversations with relief pitchers.

While the A's didn't make any huge acquisitions during the meetings, the 2019 Rule 5 Draft came and went as it does every year. With that, Oakland selected three players in the minor-league phase of the draft and had a couple more transactions as well.

Second baseman Vimael Machin was acquired from the Phillies for cash considerations. He will be competing for a roster spot.

The 26-year-old slashed .295/.390/.412 with seven home runs and 65 RBI across the Double and Triple-A teams in the Chicago Cubs organization last season. 

Jason Krizan was selected from the Mets during the Triple-A phase. The 30-year-old outfielder hit .275 across two teams last season. 

The Athletic's prospect writer Emily Waldon says he's going to be a solid addition to the A's organization.

"His walk rate has always been impressive," Waldon told NBC Sports California. "He doesn't have a ton of swing and misses, with some raw power, with eight to ten home run seasons. He's also a dependable defender with a good veteran presence." Waldon also joked Krizan has "80-grade sarcasm."

The A's also selected catcher Jose Colina, who put up some massive numbers with the Arizona League Indians Blue after signing with Cleveland as a minor-league free agent in June. The 21-year-old slashed .372/.443/.744 with eight homers and 20 RBI.

Right-handed pitcher Deivy Mendez rounds the group out. In 25 appearances across Single-A and Short-A last season with the Padres organization, he went 2-1 with six saves and a 4.20 ERA, striking out 33. 

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The Cincinnati Reds selected outfielder Mark Payton, who was claimed off waivers by the A's in December of 2018. Payton was selected during the major league phase of the draft which, according to Waldon, has the A's losing some muscle at the plate.

However, scouts reportedly didn't see the 28-year-old "doing a great deal outside of filling some needs." That power is what has gotten the most talk around Payton. 

Payton took advantage of the PCL last season with Triple-A Las Vegas and slashed .334/.400/.653 with 30 home runs and 97 RBI in 118 games.