If the Baltimore Orioles can keep Chris Davis away from Toronto, should they try to do so?
The rumors started flying late Monday that one of the Baltimore Orioles’ chief rivals were interested in Chris Davis. That rival of course is Toronto. Let’s be clear here; nobody can fault Toronto for their interest, or charge that they’re trying to make things difficult for the Orioles. Davis is one of the biggest free agent catches this off season.
Since the rumors came out, they’ve be
en somewhat unsubstantiated. It’s entirely possible that Toronto wanted to throw a wrench in the Orioles’ plans, or perhaps those of another team. That would be par for the course for them I suppose. Or for all I know the rumor could have been started by someone in the Orioles’ camp who’s trying to get the team to make a move. Either way, it’s possible that there was some interest there, but wo knows.
But consider this; if Toronto was going to make a serious push for Davis, should the Orioles do something about it? Let’s back up – the first question is could the Orioles do something about it? And the answer is yes and no. Obviously if Toronto wants Davis and Davis wants Toronto, there isn’t much anyone can do. But if they heard that a deal could be imminent, the Birds could certainly play some Russian roulette and make a better offer.
Such an act would drive up the price in effect, and potentially make Toronto pay more. Obviously the O’s would run the risk of having to live with a contract that’s out of their preferred range, which is why I likened it to playing Russian roulette. But odds are Toronto would up their offer, thus costing them more money or more years.
I would argue that the Orioles are almost in a position where they would have to do such a thing if Davis was going to sign with any team in the AL East. They don’t want to have to face him 18 times a year. Now granted, the best way to guarantee that doesn’t happen is to re-sign him themselves. But keep in mind that agent Scott Boras always plays coy. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has it signed, sealed, and delivered in the back of his mind that Davis isn’t getting signed this week. Let the “sales” breath a bit.
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Either way, the O’s could and probably should roll the dice in that manner if Davis is about to go to a division rival. Speaking for myself, that’s the doomsday scenario out of which the Birds absolutely need to stay. Time will tell if that happens.