If Chris Davis wanted to, he could have woken up this morning a $150 million man. That is according to MASN's Roch Kubatko, who reported on Tuesday night that the Orioles have extended Davis an offer believed to be "in the neighborhood of $150 million." That is an offer with a lot of dollars attached, one that shows that the Orioles are, in fact, serious about retaining Davis for a long time to come.
That contract, if accepted by Davis, would immediately make him the owner of the richest contract in O's history, blowing past the $86.5 million extension given to Adam Jones in 2012.
There was not any immediate indication of the length of the contract offered to Davis. It's safe to guess that's either for six or seven years. I'd say it's more likely six years as the addition of a seventh year would leave the average annual value (AAV) at "only" a bit more than $21 million. At six years, you're talking $25 million per year, though Kubatko also noted that the offer is "believed to include some deferred money."
Money now is worth more than money later, so deferring some money reduces the present day value, perhaps to right around the six year, $144 million estimated contract that MLB Trade Rumors made when profiling Davis.
The ball is in Davis's court now. The Orioles over the last several days have been leaning on the idea that at some point they're going to have to move on and consider other options. The rumored options that the Orioles have been exploring as Davis alternatives, such as free agent Pedro Alvarez, or trade targets like Adam Lind and Mitch Moreland, are one big sign. So is Dan Duquette saying directly that it's getting "closer to decision time."
As my friend and fellow Camden Chatter Stacey Folkemer said to me last night, imagine a world where someone offers you $150 million and your response is, "Eh, I'll think about it." Must be a good position to be in. It's true that Davis could end up going above that if he waits, because there has not yet been a multi-team bidding war for his services. But there's got to be some risk in leaving that money on the table too. If the Orioles walk away, that's one fewer team to bid for him later.
Will this force things to a head over the next couple of days of the Winter Meetings? As a general rule, Davis' agent, Scott Boras, is not one to be rushed. It's hard to imagine this tactic, if it is a tactic on the Orioles' part, really working. But, you never really know. Perhaps the Orioles have deemed that there's not an extensive market for Davis, so there could be some benefit to them in applying some pressure. Not every team is looking for a first baseman right now, and not every team that needs a first baseman is looking to sign one in the price range Davis is expected to command.
Boras and Davis are surely in a position to know whether or not there is much of a market. Sometimes taking the deal in front of you is the best for the player. This played out in a similar way with Matt Wieters, another Boras client, taking his qualifying offer earlier in the winter. They sized up the market and decided that was for the best. For Davis, it's possible that $150 million is the best.
So that's where things are, at least for now. Do you think this will be enough for the O's to sign Davis? How much higher would you be willing to go before you think that enough is enough?