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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Still quiet on the contract talk front for the Orioles Chris Davis

The Orioles and their slugging first baseman Chris Davis, still have yet to get too far in any talks of a new contract for the player who led the majors in homers, RBIs and extra-base hits in 2013.

Davis said this morning there is not much happening on that front right now.

“Not that I know of and you guys are pretty good about finding things out. I’m sure if anything is said we’ll be talking about it, but those are for Scott (Boras) and Dan (Duquette). I have way too much to focus on here,” he said this morning in the O’s clubhouse.

Is Davis disappointed that talks haven’t gotten very far to this point?

“Not really,” he said. “They took care of me this offseason. That was the biggest thing. Not having to go to arbitration. They have a lot of good problems to have. They have a lot of young talent. A lot of guys that are just coming into their prime at the right time in their career. With the moves that we’re making, I hope that’s a sign of things to come but, at the same time, you have to focus on your day-to-day job.”

Davis hit .286 with 42 doubles, one triple, 53 homers and 138 RBIs last season, setting the team record for homers. Davis’ 96 extra-base hits were 21 more than anyone else in baseball.

Maybe the Orioles want to see if Davis’ can put up big numbers for a third year in a row on offense.

“Yeah. That’s understandable. That is how you make your mark in this game is being able to do it consistently. I think the biggest thing for me is to stay healthy. As long as I give myself a chance to play 160, 162 games, the numbers will be there.”

Thanks to Butch.

Repoz Posted: March 16, 2014 at 09:59 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   1. I Am Not a Number Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM (#4672348)
How often do players sign extensions on the heels of out-of-the-blue seasons? It doesn't seem like a good idea for the team. The Orioles will presumably want some evidence that Davis's emergence is repeatable-ish (even if he were to "just" follow a 6-win season with, say, a 4-win season) while Boras will be pushing hard for dollars commensurate with a perennial MVP candidate.

I think the Padres were not eager to extend Chase Headley a year ago for the same reason. His step forward was too great to be accepted as his new normal.
   2. Gch exhales the vast drunken folly of Epicurus Posted: March 16, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4672415)
Jose Bautista signed a 5/65 deal with Toronto after he jumped from 17 homers per season to a 54 homer season. Worked out pretty well for Toronto, but it probably was easier to get that deal signed by Bean Stringfellow than it would with Scott Boras.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: March 16, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4672505)
Yeah, it depends on the price (and the team's faith in the player of course). What surprised me about Davis is that last year was not as big a fluke as it seems. His BABIP has always been strong (career 335, 336 last year) which helps a lot if you're going to K a lot. The K-rate is high but steady. The BB rate peaked but it will stay high if he continues to hit for power.

Of course I haven't mentioned the big question which is whether he can maintain anything like the 22% HR/FB rate. His career is 16% and that's what he did in 2012. 22% is basically Thome at his peak -- an unlikely but not impossible comp as Thome didn't really become Thome until 25. But even if he settles in-between at about 19%, that's Thome's career rate which would still be outstanding peak production for Davis. Even if he falls back to 16% that's Carlos Delgado with more Ks but higher BABIP.

Of course he could also be Ryan Howard who is probably his closest comp -- 324 BABIP (still), 18% HR/FB (peak in the 20s), 28% K rate, decent walk rate (ton of IBBs in his big years), had his Chris Davis year at 26. Still, even Howard was an average to good hitter for the following 5 years. Unfortunately Davis's defense (by b-r) is already not good, like Howard's. Anyway, Ryan Howard from ages 27-31 for, say, $65 M wouldn't have been bad.

Davis is still 2 years from FA so the O's shouldn't be in a hurry unless they get a substantial discount. But they've already agreed to $10 M for this year so the min at this point would have to be 5/$71 (10/13/16/16/16) and I don't think he's going for that. 5/$85 would probably get it done but I wouldn't want to do that if I was the O's.

If I'm the O's I think I ride it out. This isn't even really a case where Duquette can sign this figuring it will be the next GM's problem if it blows up -- he's signed through 2018 already, he doesn't need to save his job and Davis will be his problem. Wait to see what happens -- do you luck into a WS or do 2014-15 end up being disappointing and it's time to reload?

On the do it side of the argument is that the payroll is in great shape. They've got a lot of arb guys but only $30 M in long-term commitments (Jones and Jimenez). They do have some tough choices -- Davis, Wieters, Chen -- after 2015 and I'm not sure Davis is the one I'd choose (again, depends on price ... and of course Cs often don't age well). The injury to Machado may mean an end to any thoughts of him returning to SS and Hardy's contract is up after this year.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: March 16, 2014 at 11:53 PM (#4672615)
Bean Stringfellow

It never ceases to surprise me that this is a real name and not a character from a Twain novel.
   5. shoelesjoe Posted: March 17, 2014 at 12:51 AM (#4672625)
I don't think 5/85 gets it done for either side. Davis is either going to regress to his pre-September 2012 production, in which case that's too hefty a paycheck for the Orioles, or he'll keep doing what he's been doing since September 2012, in which case it won't be enough for Boras. Both parties here have a financial incentive to wait and see.
   6. sinicalypse Posted: March 17, 2014 at 07:57 AM (#4672648)
oh yeah, i can't see 5/85 doing anything in terms of getting an extension done. it's a game of russian roulette with the team and the man that fate conspired to nickname "crash." if i were chris i'd obviously try to get something done ASAP while that 53/138 is fresh in everyone's minds (and before an arbitrator could say "hey, you only stole 4 bases while your defense was [whatever] and rah rah rah") however it's obviously cromulent for the team to wait this one out to see if he can do it again, or regress back towards that oh-so-pedestrian ~.270/35/100 area that wouldn't cost them an arm and a leg. with that you run the risk of him doing it again and cementing his big-$$$ credentials though. personally i'd hold out and use that last arb year in 2015 to my advantage if it was my team/money/problem.

hey, maybe boras could take a page from the drew rosenhaus book and have chris do situps in the team parking lot or something else equally grandstanding? what do they have to lose?
   7. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:11 AM (#4672664)
His nickname is Crush.
   8. GregD Posted: March 17, 2014 at 09:28 AM (#4672672)
I get the fear-based desire to sign up for lifetime security, and maybe if it wasn't Boras he'd do it, but I think even a normal agent would advise waiting. Davis is going to make $10 mill this year, presumably the same or more next year and the year following and then by a free agent. Even if he's hurt--unless he's debilitated, he's going to pull in $25-30 million unless the Orioles don't let him go. And if he's good, he'll get more.

I think there's a huge value in going on the free agent market at 30 instead of 32 or 33. It's his one payday, and he'd need a lot to forswear it.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:35 PM (#4673014)
Davis is an FA after next year.

270/35/100 is obviously more affordable than 300/45/120 (or whatever) but it ain't cheap. That's Prince, Josh Hamilton, etc. My 5/85 conjecture was based on 10/15/20/20/20 which would be saying "we're confident you're as good as Fielder but get a small discount for guaranteeing when we don't have to." Or at least it's in that ballpark. I wouldn't do that if I was the O's but I think I'd take that deal as Davis -- obviously trying to get another year tacked on or an extra 5-10 M into the pot.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: March 17, 2014 at 04:59 PM (#4673026)
Both parties here have a financial incentive to wait and see.

If true, both parties also have an incentive to agree to an extension now.

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