Baltimore Orioles: Did the market for Chris Davis go up?
Yesterday I wrote about the Baltimore Orioles not being able to sign both Matt Wieters and Chris Davis in a year’s time when their contracts are up, and the possibility of the Birds dealing one of them. At the time, I said that Wieters might bring the biggest return of the two on the trade market. (Incidentally this was and still is all prefaced by the comment that the O’s should try to make an effort to keep BOTH players long-term if possible.) However that was before a chip fell on the first base market yesterday.
Now former Washington first baseman Adam LaRoche signed a two-year $25 million deal with the ChiSox. Similar to Davis, LaRoche of course is a power hitting first baseman with a solid glove. One notable difference is that at 35 LaRoche is also considerably older than Davis (in baseball years that is). However needless to say, LaRoche was a major piece of the pie in the market for a first baseman this offseason, and he’s now off the board.
So in revisiting yesterday’s topic, could the O’s now find themselves in a bit more of a power position in terms of making a deal – for Davis? I stand by what I said yesterday in that I would submit that the organizational depth at catcher is better than that at first base. However if a good deal came up, might the O’s consider taking it?
Courtesy of Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports
Again, the best case scenario for the Orioles is still to sign both Chris Davis AND Matt Wieters, The questions is whether or not that’s truly possible. Most fans are going to argue that naturally it’s possible – the organization might not want to spend that kind of money. However I also recognize that sports is a business, and in any business you can’t just throw money around like it’s nothing.
While the market on both players is higher now than it would be once the season starts, it’s definitely taken a tumble since this time last year. Wieters of course missed most of the season due to Tommy John surgery, and Davis has served 24 games of a 25-game suspension due to testing positive for PED’s. However again, there are teams out there who might have been looking at LaRoche who might now be willing to give something up in return for a guy like Davis.
I’m not suggesting that this would happen, nor am I saying that it should. However if there’s one thing Dan Duquette has proven aside from the fact that he and Buck Showalter together are a master architect, it’s that he’s at least willing to listen to any trade possibility. My prediction is that Chris Davis will be the starting first baseman for the Orioles in spring training and from game two of the regular season on. (He’ll have to sit on Opening Day due to the aforementioned suspension.) And the same goes for Matt Wieters behind the dish. However as pieces fall the fact remains that players’ value on the trade market will go up, If the Orioles were to consider dealing Davis, he would be no exception.