Athletics Notes: Chapman, Murray, Ballpark, Olson

The Athletics announced an extension yesterday with slugger Khris Davis — the club’s first in five years. That’s the big news, but there’s more to cover out of Oakland …

  • If the A’s had their way, they’d probably already have made at least one additional long-term investment. The club has tried to lock down third baseman Matt Chapman in the past to no avail; he has only continued to boost his value in the meantime. But he says he’s interested in remaining with the A’s “for a long time,” as Martin Gallegos of MLB.com reports on Twitter. Interestingly, Chapman cites the Davis contract as “a step in the right direction” for his own situation. Whether a deal comes together, he says, “is out of [his] control.”
  • In a recent profile of superstar quarterback Kyler Murray, who just so happens to have previously signed a contract to join the A’s, SI’s Robert Klemko covers plenty of topics of general interest. From a hot stove perspective, though, there’s one nugget of particular interest: per Klemko, the Oakland ballclub dangled an additional $14MM contract to keep Murray from heading to the NFL. That offer evidently was made in January as Murray was pondering whether to declare for the draft (which he ultimately did). The A’s would have added that sum on top of the $4.66MM they had already promised him. While there’s no evident path to a deal at this point, now that Murray has positioned himself as the likely top overall pick in the NFL draft, it’s a fascinating number to contemplate — with multi-faceted connections to the valuation of amateur talent, the evaluation of recent extensions signed by current MLB players, and the willingness of MLB teams to sacrifice draft picks (when you consider the huge risk that the A’s took — and were willing to double down on — for a talented but still undeveloped player).
  • That cash is small potatoes compared to the still-uncertain stadium situation in Oakland. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted yesterday, there has been a notable recent development. Alameda County has lined up a deal with the team to sell the municipality’s ownership interest in the O.co Coliseum site to the A’s, with a vote scheduled for tomorrow to approve. That’s part of the club’s recently announced plan to build a new park on another site while redeveloping its current home. (That idea arose after prior plans were scuttled.)
  • Focusing on the immediate roster needs, the A’s are surely anxious to get Matt Olson’s bat back in the lineup. The first bagger’s injured hand seems to be on the mend; as manager Bob Melvin told reporters including Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle, via Twitter, Olson was able to take cuts off a tee for the first time today. That’s a promising development, though there’ll be further hurdles to clear before Olson is ready to make it back to the MLB roster.

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