The Oakland A’s history with money is pretty well-documented.
As depicted in “Moneyball,” Billy Beane and the front office have needed to get creative with their roster over the years given their financial shortcomings. The team has fielded some strong teams this century -- they have played postseason baseball in each of the last three seasons -- but their minimal payroll has held the team back for decades.
Still, there have been players who have earned some pretty paychecks while playing in green and gold. But which player made the most money in Oakland? Here are the top five based on their earnings during their time playing for the A’s (via Spotrac):
5. Jason Kendall
Kendall never actually signed a contract with the A’s, but he still earned $36 million over two and a half seasons in Oakland.
The former Pirates catcher arrived in the Bay after the A’s swung a deal that sent Mark Redman, Arthur Rhodes and cash to Pittsburgh in November of 2004. Kendall was three years into a six-year, $60 million deal at the time.
He failed to reach the All-Star heights of his Pirates days, hitting .271 during his time in Oakland compared to .306 in Pittsburgh. He also hit just three home runs in 373 games over his A’s tenure before being dealt to the Chicago Cubs for Rob Bowen and Jerry Blevins ahead of the 2007 trade deadline. He went on to make $84,793,998 in his 15-year big league career.
4. Jermaine Dye
Dye went from the Kansas City Royals to the A’s midway through the 2001 season and he raked the rest of the season, hitting 13 homers and driving in 59 runs in just 61 games. That production led to him getting a three-year, $34 million extension the ensuing offseason.
He was part of the heart of the lineup for the famous 2002 A’s that pulled off a 20-game win streak before playing just 65 games in an injury-riddled 2003 season. He produced 23 home runs and 80 RBIs in 2004 before joining the Chicago White Sox, who proceeded to break their 88-year World Series curse in 2005.
Dye collected $36,930,107 during his tenure in Oakland and made $80,823,999 across his career.
3. Khris Davis
Khrush Davis made a big splash in Oakland.
The slugging outfielder and designated hitter was traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the A’s in the winter of 2016. He played his first four years in Oakland on one-year contracts of increasing value, which reflected his improved power. He hit 42 homers in 2016, 43 homers in 2017 and a league-leading 48 homers in 2018.
In April of 2019, Davis signed a two-year, $33.5 million extension that went through the end of the 2021 season. After batting just .200 in the shortened 2020 season, the A’s sent Davis across the AL West to the Texas Rangers along with two other players in exchange for Elvis Andrus, prospect Aramis Garcia and $13.5 million in cash.
In all, Davis made $38,728,204 with the A’s across five seasons.
2. Coco Crisp
Crisp cashed out during his time with the A’s.
After making stops with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Royals, Crisp played in Oakland from 2010 into 2016. Over that seven-year stretch, he made $52.5 million of his $73,734,300 in career earnings.
Crisp was a centerpiece on a team that made three straight playoff appearances from 2012 to 2014, though the team never made it to the ALCS. His stats at the plate don’t jump off the page, but his countless spectacular plays in the outfield were immensely valuable.
His time with the A’s ended in August of 2016 when he was traded to the Indians for Colt Hynes.
1. Eric Chavez
Chavez comes in as the top earner in A’s history after collecting $84,207,660 from the franchise over 13 seasons from 1998 to 2010.
After stars like Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada and Johnny Damon had left the team, the A’s gave the star third baseman the biggest deal in team history in March of 2004. The third baseman’s six-year, $66 million was unprecedented for the A’s and is more money than the team has doled out to any other player over the entirety of their time with the team.
Chavez paid the team back over the years by winning six straight Gold Gloves from 2001 to 2006 while also taking home a Silver Slugger Award in 2002. His time with the A’s, along with his contract, came to an end following the 2010 campaign. He played two years with the New York Yankees and two with the Arizona Diamondbacks before retiring after the 2014 season, bringing his career earnings to $94,007,660.