I love Khris Davis and if you’re reading this blog, chances are you do too. Davis and his big, beautiful swing turned a loss into a win for the surging A’s just one night after his big beautiful swing turned a tie game into a win for the surging A’s last week. That was just a few days after Davis won a game for the A’s and you get it, Khris Davis is good.
The A’s front office has been floating the idea of an extension for a good while now. For most, seeing is believing when it comes to the A’s and actually holding onto players and it’s a fair sentiment. The A’s haven’t held on to many of their players for an extended period of time. It’ll take more than words to convince a large portion of the fanbase that anything is changed.
I’m an admitted sucker, but I believe the A’s have the desire. The who isn’t clear, especially with the best candidate for an extension being represented by an agent enamored with free agency. While the rest of the roster is talented, it’s not quite clear yet who the A’s should target, particularly if it’s a long term extension with high risk attached.
Since it looks like the big extension might take some time, the A’s should consider a smaller, yet still important one. Extend Khris Davis.
He wants to be an Athletic
Not everyone wants to play for the A’s, whether because of (mis)perception or a touch of reality. Davis does. Wanting to play here is a rare and endearing trait.
Davis is consistent
Possibly the most consistent player in baseball history.
Consistency doesn’t make one immune to aging, and Davis’s skills are subject to a downturn as the years go by. He won’t lead the league in homers forever, but his bat has ample room to lose some value with him remaining an asset.
DHing is not an easy task and most AL teams struggle to find consistent production in that role. Recall the Billy Butler era if you will, a three year period in which the A’s DH numbers were superior to the three previous years. Yes, you read that correctly. Billy Butler (or rather the Billy Butler era) yielded higher numbers at DH than the A’s put up in their last playoff window.
That speaks to two things. For one, signing Billy Butler proved the A’s do value the DH position and view DHing as a skill. Their execution in that regard was, uh, lacking but their decision following the 2012-2014 campaigns shows they learned a lesson: DHing isn’t easy and you can’t just shoehorn a guy into that role as a partial off day and expect him to hit.
Davis provides stability in a role that’s given the A’s fits even in their good years.
Davis is fun
Arguably the funnest A.
He’s not a great trade candidate
This section is last because a Khris Davis extension would be worth more than just on-field value, and the story of baseball is just too sweet right now to think in numbers. It’s painful to think of the A’s contention window without Davis’s powerful bat, he just fits as an integral member of the team and a true fan favorite. He’s a huge asset both in on field value and fan engagement.
All that said, Davis is unlikely to yield much in a trade. J.D. Martinez was moved for an underwhelming package just last season and is probably a more desirable player in the minds of most front office execs. Whatever Davis could return in trade would certainly be disappointing. The A’s don’t have an obvious DH following Davis in the org if he is to leave (Mark Canha is a centerfielder, world) and the on field hole would just about match the hole in our collective hearts.
Low on the list of why the A’s should extend Davis, but certainly another argument in favor of keeping Khrush around.
Extend Khris Davis
There’s something special about a player who makes it through the down years and endures into a team’s playoff run. Khris Davis deserves to be a part of the A’s contention window as much as anyone on this roster. As of how, his contract (entering his final year of arbitration) makes it look like a real possibility that he might not be around as the A’s fully hit their stride.
The team can change that while rewarding Davis with a contract he so deserves. Do it, A’s.