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A's flexible as Davis extension talks continue

MLB.com @JaneMLB

LAS VEGAS -- The A's remain in ongoing conversations with Khris Davis' reps regarding a contract extension, according to general manager David Forst, but they must first take care of other business.

Forst and Co. descended upon the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for the Winter Meetings on Monday, engaging in internal meetings while monitoring the landscape of the free-agent market.

LAS VEGAS -- The A's remain in ongoing conversations with Khris Davis' reps regarding a contract extension, according to general manager David Forst, but they must first take care of other business.

Forst and Co. descended upon the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for the Winter Meetings on Monday, engaging in internal meetings while monitoring the landscape of the free-agent market.

The A's should be active buyers -- they need several starters, a catcher and perhaps a second baseman -- but it remains to be seen whether they add to their roster while in Las Vegas.

Baseball saw little action during Day 1, which was defined more so by a stream of rumors and speculation. The A's have expressed interest in second baseman DJ LeMahieu, per the San Francisco Chronicle, but the 2016 National League batting champion has been linked to several other clubs as well.

Video: DJ LeMahieu set to hit free agency at age 30

Josh Harrison, like LeMahieu a plus defender, could also be among the A's potential targets. Veterans Brian Dozier and Daniel Murphy are also available, should the A's be unable to re-sign free agent Jed Lowrie.

The A's could also opt to forego adding a second baseman and let infield prospect Franklin Barreto play every day. Forst reiterated this is one of many options on the table; adding a platoon partner for Barreto is another.

A's may address rotation, catcher at Meetings

In contrast, the addition of a catcher to replace free agent Jonathan Lucroy is imperative.

"We're going to add somebody," Forst said.

There are numerous free-agent options for sale, and the same can be said of starting pitchers. The A's are casting a wide net in their search for rotation help, since their current options are limited to Daniel Mengden, Chris Bassitt, Paul Blackburn, Frankie Montas and prospects Jesus Luzardo and Grant Holmes.

Andrew Triggs, who underwent thoracic outlet surgery in late September, has been cleared for action but will more than likely be limited to relief duties.

"I'm not sure we can be that choosy right now," Forst said. "We're kind of exploring every avenue, whether it's trade or free agency, and I think that applies to year or multiyear deals. We're looking for guys that fit from a timeframe standpoint and dollars and payroll."

Detroit's signing of former Athletic Tyson Ross to a reported $5.75 million deal with incentives on Monday could help set the market for the second- and third-tier options. Edwin Jackson and Trevor Cahill, who pitched well for the A's in 2018, are among them. Yet Forst doesn't expect a sudden flurry of moves.

"We kind of go at our own pace," he said. "I don't know that any external forces are going to change that."

The A's are maintaining a similar approach with Davis, particularly since he's under club control through 2019, but continue to express their interest in locking up baseball's 2018 home run leader to a long-term deal.

Video: Forst discusses how Lowrie, Davis are keys to A's

"It continues to be an ongoing conversation," Forst said. "Khris is going to be here in 2019, no matter what, so the sense of urgency right now is making sure we build the rest of the roster.

"Khris is a huge priority for us, and that conversation is always ongoing."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Khris Davis