A's Hope Khris Davis Extension Marks Beginning of New Era in Oakland

OAKLAND -- For far too long, A's fans have grown accustomed to watching their favorite players end up in opposing uniforms.

They've endured taunts from rival fans, even when their young stars display their incredible talent. "Who cares? He'll be on the Yankees soon."

Perhaps Friday marked the beginning of a new era in Oakland. The A's held a press conference to announce a two-year contract extension for Khris Davis, one of baseball's elite power hitters and the face of the franchise.

"This is an incredibly exciting day for the Oakland A's and the city of Oakland," general manager David Forst proclaimed. "I think we all know how important (Khris) is to this team in the clubhouse. It was something that was a huge reason why we wanted to make sure he stayed here."

The A's pulled out all the stops. Darn near the entire organization showed up for the celebration, from Davis' family and friends to players and coaches, to front office members and sales staff.

"It feels amazing. It's incredible," Davis said, before joking, "(My teammates) are going to make fun of me all day."

This was truly a rare occasion for an A's franchise that has been hesitant to hand out multi-year contracts over the years. Forst admitted as much.

"I haven't done a lot of these," he told reporters after the press conference. "It's not a secret that a lot of players have left. You have to go back to Eric Chávez basically for players we've been able to keep into free agency. This is special. I think we picked a special guy to do it with."

The question now is whether this is simply an aberration or a sign of a new mentality in Oakland, where the team commits to building a World Series contender and keeping that squad together. Forst hopes it's the latter.

"All the work that's going into staying in the city of Oakland, (getting) a new ballpark, from my end and from Billy's (Beane) end, the reason to do that is to keep our team together," he said. "It's what we've never been able to do. ... This is an important first step, hopefully to what will be a number of other players staying in Oakland."

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Either way, the Davis contract extension was a no-brainer. The 31-year-old has hit 143 home runs since the start of 2016, 19 more than any other player in Major League Baseball. But most importantly, he loves Oakland and wants to be an A.

"There's a lot about the city," Davis said. "Good food. I just love coming to the ballpark. ... Just the players I get to play with. ... There's just a drive that I want to be a part of. I think we can get to the playoffs again and again. No doubt in my mind."

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