Khris Davis
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Khris Davis, Athletics avoid arbitration with one-year, $16.5 million deal

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Perennial 40-home run hitter Khris Davis avoided arbitration with the Athletics on Friday, per an official announcement from the team. This was Davis’ third and last year of arbitration-eligibility. He’ll make $16.5 million in a one-year pact with the club.

The 31-year-old designated hitter is coming off of one of the most productive seasons of his career to date. He finished eighth in AL MVP voting after slashing .247/.326/.549 in 2018 with a league-best 48 home runs, 123 RBI, an .874 OPS and 2.6 fWAR across 654 plate appearances. While there was some chatter about an extension for the hot-hitting Davis, the two sides have plenty of time to work out the particulars of a long-term deal as he’s not scheduled to enter free agency until the conclusion of the 2019 season.

The A’s also agreed to terms with outfielder Mark Canha ($2.05M), left-hander Sean Manaea (terms not available), and shortstops Jurickson Profar ($3.6M) and Marcus Semien ($5.9M) ahead of Friday’s deadline. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, right-handed closer Blake Treinen is expected to go to arbitration with the team.

Bryce Harper played some third base in an intrasquad game

Bryce Harper third base
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Phillies star outfielder Bryce Harper played some third base during Monday’s intrasquad game at Citizens Bank Park, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Harper had been pestering manager Joe Girardi for the opportunity and the skipper finally gave in.

Girardi told Harper, “No diving. And make sure your arm is loose.” Harper had the opportunity to field one ball, a grounder to his left and he made the play perfectly.

Why put Harper at third base? Girardi said, “I think it’s important the guys have fun. I saw him a week ago taking ground balls there and I was impressed. His hands worked well out front and he threw the ball across the field well. I told him, ‘You look good there.'”

Despite the solid showing, don’t expect Harper to show up at third base in a meaningful game anytime soon. That being said, the Phillies’ second and third base situations are still not cemented. Jean Segura will likely open the season at the hot corner with Scott Kingery at second, but things could change between now and Opening Day in 10 days.

Harper, 27, is coming off a solid first season with the Phillies. He hit .260/.372/.510 with 36 doubles, 35 home runs, 114 RBI, 98 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases across 682 plate appearances. Per FanGraphs, Harper’s 4.6 Wins Above Replacement ranked 16th in the National League. For some people, those numbers weren’t nearly good enough, so the expectations remain high as Harper enters year two of his 13-year, $330 million contract.