The Oakland A’s are counting on Khris Davis for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. But what happens when that time comes to a close?
Whenever the 2021 season comes to a close, the Oakland A’s will face a number of difficult decisions. Not only will Marcus Semien likely have departed the previous offseason, but they have a slew of free agents highlighted by Khris Davis. While Semien has likely played his way outside of the A’s budget, the same could not be said for Davis.
He had already been extended, signing a two year deal worth $33.5 million early in 2019. Shortly after signing that deal, Davis injured himself running into a wall in foul territory during an interleague game. He would miss three days, returning to action on May 12.
However, Davis was hardly the same player. From that point on, he produced a disappointing .218/.288/.352 batting line, hitting just 13 homers and eight doubles in 386 plate appearances. Davis himself admitted those struggles were due to the injury and a subsequent loss of confidence, leaving room to hope that he will return to form.
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There are other concerns around Davis as well. He really should not be playing in the field any longer, although interleague play makes it difficult to keep his bat in the lineup at times. Davis will also be 33 years old when this most recent extension comes to an end, heading into the downside of his career.
But there is also no questioning what Davis brings to the lineup. When healthy, he has been a remarkably consistent hitter, providing plenty of punch to the A’s batting order. Last season broke a streak of four consecutive seasons with a .247 batting average, as well as a run of three consecutive years with over 40 homers.
If Davis looks like his old self once more, it is not unreasonable for the A’s to consider another extension. While it would not be for the same type of financial outlay as the current deal, another two year contract north of $20 million would not be unreasonable. Davis would get another payday, and the A’s would have financial certainty as they navigate other extensions, arbitration, and free agency.
Khris Davis has already signed one extension, but a second deal may not be farfetched. It will depend on how well the Oakland A’s designated hitter comes back in 2020.