The 2018 A's became the first team in MLB history to make the playoffs after starting the season with the lowest payroll, but they got plenty of value beyond Opening Day.
Forbes' Robert Kuenster compiled a list of players who hit 25 or more home runs in 2018, and broke down how much each team paid per home run. Three A's -- slugger Khris Davis, outfielder Stephen Piscotty, and first baseman Matt Chapman -- reached the mark, and compared favorably to the rest of the bigs.
The A's got the most value with Matt Olson. Olson hit 29 homers on a $547,500 base salary, so Oakland paid about $18,879 per Olson dinger. That was the eighth-lowest mark in all of baseball. Piscotty's $37,037 per home run ($1 million divided by 27) was the lowest price among any 25-homer hitter who made six figures.
Each of Khris Davis' 48 home runs was worth $218,570, or the 18th-highest. Still, only one of the players ahead of him was within five home runs of his final, MLB-leading total (Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez).
The A's will have cost certainty with Olson (still under team control) and Piscotty (signed through 2024) for the foreseeable future, but the same can't be said of Davis. 2019 is his final year of arbitration, and he can become an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Oakland's front office said a payroll increase will happen next season, and a potential Davis extension figures to be part of that. Considering how valuable Davis was this season, paying more per home run would still be money well spent.