The Athletics are holding extension talks with slugger Khris Davis, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Per the report, “numerous talks” have already taken place between the Oakland brass and Octagon agent Lou Nero.
Despite the evident mutual interest, Slusser indicates that it’s far from clear whether anything will get done. The length of a potential contract is an obvious stumbling block. By her reckoning, Davis’s camp might only bite at a three-year guarantee, but that feels steep from the organization’s perspective.
Davis, 30, is under arbitration control for another season. He’s earning $10.5MM for 2018 and will surely command another healthy raise. After all, Davis is threatening to register more than forty home runs and one hundred runs batted in for the third-straight season.
Those counting stats may not play quite as well in free agency as they once did. But that doesn’t mean that Davis’s bat wouldn’t be seen as a valuable asset. He has been a steady producer since landing in Oakland, with a .245/.322/.521 cumulative slash (127 OPS+) through 1,595 plate appearances. While his overall utility is greatly diminished by a lack of defensive and baserunning ability, Davis would hold appeal to other American League clubs.
All things considered, it’s an interesting situation. The sides reportedly weighed an arb-only deal earlier this season, but that never came to fruition. It’s possible that a multi-year scenario would better suit all sides, though there’s also good reason to expect that the club will be wary of making too great a commitment. For Davis, he says he’s “keeping an open mind” but will mostly trust his agent.