Baltimore Orioles: Too good a PR campaign?


Did the Baltimore Orioles do too much to convince their fans that Chris Davis was being unreasonable?

One thing that’s somewhat surprised me since the Baltimore Orioles re-signed Chris Davis is the number of critics that have popped up. Granted, the majority of fans do appear to support the move, which is precisely what I expected. However there’s also a pocket of people who seem to question bringing back the slugging first baseman – and again, that’s somewhat surprising to me.

Courtesy of Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /

I’ve heard people say that they shouldn’t have committed to seven years, or that the money is ridiculous, etc. If the O’s could have gotten Davis for 4-5 years as opposed to seven, I would have said go for it! However with a player of his caliber that’s just not how things generally work. Agents look for long-term deals, and had the O’s offered a smaller term they would have been laughed at.

Once the news of the original offer of seven years, $154 million dollars was leaked, the Orioles ran with it. We heard repeatedly that the Birds weren’t backing off of that number (even though they ended up raising it), and that they felt they made a legitimate offer. And they were right – they did make a legitimate offer. One that at the time was the highest in team history, trumped only by the final number of $161 million.

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Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles
Chris Davis being put on Bobby Bonilla payout plan by the Orioles /


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  • As a sidebar, there was also discussion of who leaked that information. There’s no doubt that it probably benefitted the Orioles in the court of public opinion more so than it did Davis and agent Scott Boras. However without actually knowing, my personal opinion is that it was Boras’ camp who leaked the contract terms. The Orioles do things behind closed doors, as opposed to Boras who does things in public. The other part of the situation that leaked was that Boras was looking for an eight-year deal worth $200 million. So basically what he was saying was here’s what the Orioles offered, and that’s not getting the job done. To anyone who wants Chris Davis, here’s what WILL get the job done.

    But it also allowed the Orioles to hammer home the point of how legitimate their offer was. So now one has to wonder if they did that a little too well. As I said, I’m a little surprised at some of the criticism of the deal. In some ways that’s not a bad thing, because people are looking at it from a business perspective. Does this tie the team’s hands in terms of signing other free agents – both now, and in the future?

    I say that it doesn’t. Keep in mind that approximately $119 million will be paid out to Davis during those seven years. The rest of the money is deferred, and won’t be paid off to him until 2037. Yes that’s a long time to have someone on your payroll, but sometimes you have to think outside the box to make things work. And I suspect that was done to solidify the Orioles’ chances of re-signing the likes of Machado, Schoop, and perhaps even Wieters and Tillman.

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    One thing that will be interesting to me will be the fan reaction to Davis on opening day. I’m expecting a standing ovation, however…is it possible that we might hear a few boos? Again, the Orioles did a pretty good job of spinning their side of the story during the contract talks, and rightfully so in my view.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles: Reverse logic on opt-outs

    If anyone does boo or jeer, I’m sure that sentiment will disappear once Davis hits his first homer. Incidentally, that deferred money isn’t something that we see a Boras client taking very often. So I suspect that Davis eventually told his agent he wanted to be in Baltimore, and to get it done.