Baltimore Orioles did their part for Chris Davis
If the Baltimore Orioles don’t land free agent slugger Chris Davis, don’t blame the O’s.
We’ve known for some time that the Baltimore Orioles had what they deemed a “competitive offer” out there on Chris Davis. Over the weekend leading up to this week’s winter meetings, rumors of a $150 million dollar contract started to leak out. That offer was “confirmed” by the national media yesterday; the Orioles have offered Davis a seven-year deal worth in the neighborhood of $150 million. There are some reports which have some of that money deferred, however the bottom line is the number itself.
The Orioles have also made it quite clear to agent Scott Boras that they want Davis back, but that they don’t have all the time in the world. I’ll be honest; I think they could probably afford to wait a bit longer than now in order to get Davis – and I do believe that they’re willing to do that. Odds are they’re simply trying to push or move the negotiations along if they can. However the fact remains that their time isn’t infinite. They either need to sign Davis, or they need to find another alternative.
Having said that, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Orioles aren’t amenable to altering that contract number. In saying that, I mean maybe they’d go eight years at $160, or something like that. That may not be much of a change, but it’s a change.
Courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
My personal opinion at the end of the season was that $150 million would be in the neighborhood of what the Orioles should offer. And that’s exactly what’s on the table. However let’s be clear; if Davis/Boras walk away from that deal, the Orioles won’t be “at fault” for not bringing him back. That narrative would be different if the offer was well short of that point. If the Orioles, who previously have never made an offer that large on anyone, had offered their typical $90 million for four years, then I would agree that they lowballed him.
Later yesterday evening reports surfaced that Davis is looking for somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million over eight years. It’s tough to say whether or not that’s a direct counter from Boras to the Orioles, or if that’s something that’s intended more to speak to other clubs. I’m sure that if the Orioles upped their offer to somewhere in that neighborhood, Boras would jump on it. (Or for all we know he might say he has an eight-year deal for $210 million from someone else.) However he also might be speaking in riddles to other teams by saying this is the offer I have, but if you can offer this he’s yours.
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Boras himself confirmed that he’s spoken various times to Orioles’ managing partner Peter Angelos directly on the topic of Davis. One thing that should give Orioles fans hope is that he also said the Orioles haven’t drawn a line in the sand in terms of timing. However as I’ve said, at a certain point they’ll need to get on with their off season. They’ll either need to sign Davis or go to plan B. Again my personal opinion is that moment hasn’t yet come, but it’s coming.
The ultimate point here is that if Davis goes somewhere else and gets the type of contract Boras wants, Orioles fans shouldn’t blame Duquette, Angelos, or anyone. The Birds have gone into uncharted territory in terms of making an unprecedented offer to a player in trying to sign Davis. So they are and have been doing literally everything that they possibly could.
Next: Baltimore Orioles: Could Chris Davis go to Toronto?
At the end of the day, my personal opinion is that Davis would be worth the seven years, $150 million. Would I be willing to pay someone $200 million for seven or eight years? That’s a tough one. And quite frankly, from a fiduciary standpoint it would be hard to justify. As I’ve said before folks, this is a business – not fantasy sports.