Oakland Athletics avoid arbitration with five players, including Khris Davis

A day after signing left-handed reliever Ryan Buchter to a one-year contract, avoiding arbitration, the Oakland Athletics have pulled the trick again, reaching agreements with five more arbitration-eligible members of their 2018 team.

The A’s agreed to terms with ace left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea, newly-acquired infielder Jurickson Profar, starting shortstop Marcus Semien, outfielder Mark Canha and designated hitter Khris Davis on one-year contracts for the 2019 season.

Oakland brass had indicated that they wanted to get some kind of long-term extension done with Davis towards the end of the 2018 season, and repeated that desire in offseason availabilities. The deal with the slugging DH — who owns the most home runs in the Major Leagues over the last three seasons — is reportedly for $16.5 million, according to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network.

Davis hit .247 for the fourth straight season, but hit a career- and league-high 48 home runs, with a career-best 135 wRC+. Over the last three seasons with Oakland, he’s hit 133 home runs and driven in 335 runs — second most in the majors. He surpassed 40 home runs and 100 RBIs each year he’s spent with the A’s, making him the 22nd player in Major League history with at least three straight seasons of 40 homers and 100 RBIs.

Canha, 29, started games at five different positions last season, hitting .249 with a career-high 17 home runs and 52 RBIs in 122 games. He also set career bests in on-base percentage (.328), slugging percentage (.449), OPS (.778) and walks (34). Thirteen of the Cal alum’s 17 homers came against left-handed pitchers, tying him for the second-most in the American League. Canha’s deal is reportedly for $2.05 million, according to Robert Murray of The Athletic.

Semien, Canha’s former teammate with the Golden Bears and an East Bay native, has solidified himself as Oakland’s starting shortstop, thanks to intensive work on his defense with former infield coach Ron Washington. This season, Semien had a career-best 2.0 dWAR.

In 2018, Semien batted .255 with 15 home runs and 70 RBI in 159 games.  He had career highs in at-bats (632), runs (89), hits (161), doubles (35), walks (61) and stolen bases (14).  He is one of nine Major Leaguers with at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases in each of the last four seasons.

Semien, 28, will reportedly get a pay bump from $3.125 million in 2018 to $5.9 million in 2019, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Manaea, who underwent shoulder surgery on Sept. 19,  was 12-9 with a 3.59 ERA and .232 opponents batting average in 27 starts last year before going on the disabled list Aug. 26. The 26-year-old left-hander authored the seventh no-hitter in Oakland history and 12th in Athletics history on April 21 against Boston.

Profar, acquired from Texas on Dec. 21 in a three-team seven-player trade, had career highs in nearly every offensive category with the Rangers last year. He hit .254 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI in 146 games. The 25-year-old switch-hitter added 35 doubles and 10 stolen bases and was one of just five American League players with at least 35 doubles, 20 home runs, 75 RBI and 10 stolen bases. He’s expected to take over at second base for All-Star Jed Lowrie, who signed a $20 million deal with the New York Mets this month.

The A’s have one remaining player on their roster eligible for arbitration: closer Blake Treinen.

Ryan Gorcey

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