Due to a flaw in the system, Khris Davis was left without any precious metal following a season that saw him finish as baseball’s home run king.
Davis, who knocked in 123 runs to go with his 48 homers, finished behind Boston’s J.D. Martinez in the race for the American League’s Silver Slugger at the designated hitter position — Martinez became the first player ever to win the award at multiple positions (DH and outfield) in one season.
Still, the Major League Baseball awards season was good to the Athletics.
Matt Chapman completed a clean sweep of the AL’s defensive awards, claiming the Platinum Glove, the Fielding Bible and the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year awards to go along with his Gold Glove.
Matt Olson joined Oakland’s young superstar third baseman as the first base recipient of the Gold Glove and Fielding Bible awards.
The Platinum Glove’s honorees are determined by a fan vote, hosted by Rawlings, and the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year is determined purely by unbiased metrics. Gold Gloves are determined by a vote of the league’s managers and coaches, and has, in the past, been accused of being as much a popularity contest as a measure of defensive abilities — see Mark Ellis.
Finally, the Fielding Bible is given to one player, throughout MLB, at each position and is determined by a panel that includes Bill James, Joe Posnanski and Peter Gammons, among others.
Basically, the fact that Olson and Chapman appeared on so many short lists means that the visibility of the 2018 A’s grew far beyond the Bay Area. Coaches, statisticians and fans alike recognized the excellence of the A’s.
Couple the success and growing popularity with manager Bob Melvin, who was named the Manager of the Year for the third time in his career and is a notable players’ manager, and you’ve got free agency destination — and that is ignoring current managements hustle to build a new stadium.
It truly will make a difference. Just ask Trevor Cahill, who said after he joined the A’s major league club that when he signed with Oakland in late March, he was unsure of their talent.
Oakland enjoyed an incredibly successful regular season. And though their postseason run was short-lived, recently named MLB Executive of the Year Executive VP of Baseball Operations Billy Beane and GM David Forst will have new fodder to feed top free agents in an attempt to lure them to the East Bay in hopes of making a deeper run.
Kalama Hines is SFBay’s sports director and Oakland Athletics beat writer. Follow @SFBay and @HineSight_2020 on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of A’s baseball.