Is Chris Davis in the Baltimore Orioles’ Plans?


Oct 9, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) walks out of the batting cage during workouts the day before game one of the 2014 ALCS against the against the Kansas City Royals at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from’s Roch Kubatko, the Orioles attempted to acquire left-handed hitting first baseman Adam Lind from the Toronto Blue Jays before he was traded to Milwaukee last weekend.

The Orioles and Jays were unable to come to terms on a deal after Toronto requested Orioles first baseman and corner outfielder Steve Pearce and the Orioles refused.

After hearing the news, you have to wonder if this is an indicator of the Orioles’ desire to hold on to Chris Davis. Davis under-performed in 2014 and was suspended 25 games for violating the MLB’s drug policy, suddenly calling into question his future with the Orioles.

With reports of the Orioles attempting to trade for a player that would have played a similar role to Davis on the team, it seems the Orioles have made their preference clear: they would rather have somebody else.

Lind certainly would have been an attractive option and would have fit in nicely in a platoon with Pearce at first base.

Last year, Lind batted .321/.381/.479 with six home runs and 40 RBI in 318 plate appearances. Over his nine-year career he is a .273/.327/.466 hitter, batting .293/.349/.510 against right-handed pitching.

Lind also would have earned $7.5 million if the Orioles picked up his team option.

By comparison, Chris Davis hit .196/.300/.404 with 26 home runs and 72 RBI over 525 plate appearances last year. He is a .253/.322/.493 career hitter with a .262/.338/.513 line against right-handed pitching.

Davis is arbitration eligible this year and MLBTradeRumors projects him to earn $11.8 million this year, a modest raise over last year’s $10.35 million salary.

But do the Orioles want to commit nearly $12 million to a player that showed a nearly 50 percent decline in production from 2013 to 2014 and whose suspension costed the team dearly as it made its playoff run?

The 28-year-old Davis may have a higher potential and ceiling than the 31-year-old Lind, but Lind has shown a consistency throughout his career that Davis has not, both in behavior and performance.

While its no guarantee that the Orioles would have parted with Davis if they successfully added Lind, it’s not a tremendous leap to reach that conclusion. The Orioles seem to think that Davis is replaceable, but the real question is under what circumstances.

Do they feel that Lind was the best value on the market and too good of a deal to pass up, or do they feel that Davis needs to be off the team regardless of his replacement?

The answer likely lies somewhere in the middle.

It will be interesting to see how the Orioles proceed from here. Will they non-tender Davis and pursue another trade or a free agent signing? Will they forgive Davis for last season’s mishaps in light of no better options being available after the Lind deal fell through?

At the latest, we’ll find out in mid-January when the Orioles and Davis begin exchanging salary arbitration figures. Davis’ offer seems just as likely only have one zero as it is to have a lot of them.