It has been more than a month since reports originally surfaced that the Orioles had an offer out to first baseman Chris Davis for right around $150 million over seven years. There have been conflicting accounts since then, with some saying the offer has been revoked and others arguing that it is still there for the taking. At this point, there seems to be a consensus that, if Davis wants it, he could still sign the deal any day now. But that's a problem for Baltimore and it's time they put their foot down.
If you are like many of us here at Camden Chat, you open up your internet browser in the morning and immediately head into the nether regions of the baseball Web to find any evidence that the O's are a step closer with Crush, or any real free agent for that matter. It is a fruitless effort, of course. Things have gone nowhere.
The biggest reason for this hangup, on the Orioles side, seems to be how much owner Peter Angelos really wants Davis. And why wouldn't he? The guy is as marketable as anyone in baseball. He hits moonshot home runs. He has garnered MVP and Gold Glove consideration. He makes some fans swoon with his muscles and good looks. And overall, he just seems to be a likable guy.
But apparently, things have been quiet for Davis with every other team as well. Sure, there has been evidence at some point that teams like the Tigers and Cardinals were interested, but those murmurs have come and gone. It starts to make you wonder, is Davis's agent, Scott Boras, just using the Orioles? It wouldn't be the first time it has happened to a team. Maybe Davis has his eye on a specific organization or a specific dollar amount. Maybe he just doesn't want to be an Oriole at all.
Meanwhile, the Orioles still have obvious holes at right field and first base; two positions that Davis is capable of playing, and have done nothing to address them. You can't count on Mark Trumbo as an automatic starter either place and there are more than a few question marks with the stable of other outfielders: Nolan Reimold, L.J. Hoes and Rule-Five pick Joey Rickard among others.
The market is still flush with talented players that the Birds could pick from: Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler. There have been indications that the Baltimore front office has reached out to Cespedes and Upton, however, they are treating them like a backup plan or as if it was done just as a power play to see if Davis would flinch. It hasn't happened.
Spring Training is a little over a month away and the Orioles are still a work in progress. The major money that Davis is going to command has held up their entire offseason, or so it seems. Not knowing whether you have $150 million to spend or not has stopped Baltimore from truly pursuing any other outfield options or the veteran pitcher that they need to round out the starting staff.
Manager Buck Showalter said they other day that he would not be surprised if Davis waited until March to sign with a team. WHAT!? I cannot see a contending team being OK with not knowing if they have one of their highest-paid players on the roster with less than a month to go before the season begins.
Since the Orioles season ended in October, they have added Mark Trumbo, Hyun-soo Kim and a bunch of minor league free agents, while also re-signing Matt Wieters and Darren O'Day. But they have lost Gerardo Parra and Wei-Yin Chen and seem to be at a crossroads with Davis. The argument can easily be made that right now, they are worse than the team that went 81-81 in 2015.
There needs to be one more conversation with Davis and his representatives to figure out what the problem is. If the two sides can work out something quickly that they are both happy with, then that's great. If not, it is time to move on to other options and priorities, like signing your stud third baseman long term.
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