The Baltimore Orioles perhaps had a bit of leeway last year when they let Nelson Cruz walk – that leeway came in the form of Chris Davis. With Davis in the lineup, the Birds still had a legitimate power threat. I said this at the time, and I stand by that support; the O’s were right to let Cruz go due to his age, and the contract he signed in Seattle. But things will be different with Chris Davis.
Davis is currently in the prime of his career, so the concern of his production tailing off towards the end of say a five or six-year deal isn’t quite as immediate. Mind you, this is not to say that Davis is priceless, because that’s not true of anyone. However his power numbers are going to be tough to replace, and I’m not sure that the Orioles have the necessary pieces in their minor league system to do so expediently.Courtesy of Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
And you can look no further than this evening’s game as to why Davis needs to be retained. However first let’s back up a bit. Kevin Gausman was once again unable to go deep into a game. Gausmans’s line: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. However those are not bad numbers. Gausman gave one heck of an effort tonight, and my sincere hope is that Orioles fans recognize that.
This was a pitcher’s duel at it’s core, and the Birds couldn’t even score a hit until the fifth. However Ryan Flaherty put the on the board in the top of the sixth with a solo homer to right field. But true to form, New York came back. In the last of that sixth inning, ARod officially chased Gausman from the game with a solo shot of his own, tying the game at one.
And with the Orioles’ pen bringing us to the ninth tied at one, there was really only one thing left for the Birds to do. And low and behold they did it; they bore witness to their best power hitter doing what he does best. Davis’ solo homer went deep into the NY night, giving the O’s a 2-1 lead. Britton sent New York down quietly in the ninth, and the Birds split the first two games of the series.
And this illustrates why the O’s need Chris Davis in their lineup next year and beyond. Now the one caveat I’ll throw onto that is if they can get a slugger of equal proportion by which to replace Davis. But if you’re going to pay for someone like that, you might as well pay for Davis. This team absolutely cannot be devoid of power going into next season; and all indications are that Dan Duquette understands that.
So the question is what will this cost? This is just my baseless opinion, which isn’t tied to any rumor, fact, etc. But I suspect he’ll sign someplace for somewhere in the neighborhood of $140-$150 million over five to six years. Again, that’s just a baseless prediction. However the Orioles need to ensure that they’re the team paying that to him – and not someone else.
The O’s will have a chance at winning this series in New York with a victory tomorrow. Ubaldo Jimenez will be on the mound for the Orioles. He’ll be opposed by NY’s C.C. Sabathia. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.