As I said yesterday, one interesting tidbit that came out of this past weekend’s FanFest celebration was Dan Duquette saying that the Baltimore Orioles had offered Chris Davis a long-term contract (immediately following last season). That appeared to be news to the Oriole first baseman, as he claimed to know nothing about it. One way or the other, this is something that should send some warning bells out in the heads of Orioles fans, and perhaps in the Warehouse. First off, I don’t discount the possibility that Davis could have been playing the showmanship card in saying that. But he comes across as a pretty on-the-level guy, and at the very least I don’t think he’d be the type to knowingly cause controversy by saying he didn’t know about the offer.
So assuming that he was being forthright when he claimed he didn’t know about the offer, what does that mean for the prospects of Chris Davis staying in Baltimore? There are two possibilities:Do the O’s have a “situation” with Chris Davis? 1) The Orioles’ offer was so low that Davis’ agent (Scott Boras, incidentally) shoo’d it off, and 2) Boras strategically didn’t tell Davis about it.
Both of those suggestions might well be the truth. The Orioles aren’t exactly known for making
big offers. So for all we know maybe Dan Duquette offered Boras three years, $50 million. And for the record, if that were the case I would say it was an insulting offer and that Boras might even have been right to not even tell Davis about it. (Having said that, if I had an agent I’d want to know about any offer that comes my way.)
However what if the opposite is true, and Boras simply sat on the offer? That’s something of which Orioles fans and executives would need to take note. Boras has a reputation for not wanting his clients to sign extensions and so forth, as has been well documented here and elsewhere. As a result, there is the impression that he favors certain teams. He has to know that Davis will be a free agent the same year that Mark Texeira’s contract is up in New York…see where I’m headed? Furthermore on a personal level, Orioles’ management keeps Boras at an arm’s distance away whereas he has a chummy relationship with the Steinbrener’s, John Henry, etc. I’m not much a believer in the human element when it comes to business deals, as I also see some franchises as kiss-ups to the likes of Boras. However the fact remains that the Orioles have had frosty relations at best with Boras over the years.
For the record, that’s a vicious charge, and in no way am I saying that Boras is trying to direct his clients towards teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, etc. I suspect that’s not really the case, and that he’s simply trying to get his clients the best deals. Research I presume has shown that the best financial deals come when a player’s on the open market as opposed to signing an extension with his current team.
If Boras sat on an offer, that’s a serious problem. However I have to believe that the Orioles know Davis wants to remain in Baltimore, and obviously Davis has to know that the Orioles want him to stay. It’s likely that Davis might be looking in the neighborhood of seven or eight years, $150 million dollars when he’s up for his next contract. The Orioles have never given out a deal like that, however I would submit that Chris Davis would be a good player with which to start. IF that would be considered overpaying, I would still say it’s money well spent given the production we’ve seen from Davis over the two years plus he’s been here.