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Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Orioles’ Chris Davis will miss all of 2021 MLB season after undergoing hip surgery

The Orioles have announced that designated hitter Chris Davis has undergone surgery on his left hip labrum and that he will miss the rest of the season with a four- to five-month recovery period. Davis has been on the shelf all season to this point with back and hip injuries.

Davis, 35, still has one year left on his seven-year, $161 million deal. He signed it after getting some down-ballot MVP love (finishing 14th) in 2015, when he hit .262/.361/.562 (147 OPS+) with 31 doubles, an MLB-best 47 homers and 117 RBI. He hit 38 homers in 2016 and then 26 in 2017, but the rate stats steadily declined to .168/.243/.296 (49 OPS+) by 2018.

During the life of this current deal, Davis has hit .196/.291/.379, good for an 80 OPS+ and -2.6 WAR.

Tough break for the Orioles in their attempt to get a high draft pick next year.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:27 PM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: chris davis, orioles

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   1. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6019722)
This will be his first non-negative WAR season since 2016.

   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6019727)
If the Orioles need another first baseman who can hit .180 while striking out 225 times, Mark Reynolds is available.
   3. SoSH U at work Posted: May 19, 2021 at 04:54 PM (#6019728)

If the Orioles need another first baseman who can hit .180 while striking out 225 times, Mark Reynolds is available.


I thought you meant that in the Alfonso Soriano sense, where you'd like to see the O's take them off your hands. Which would have left me startled to learn he was still playing.
   4. The Duke Posted: May 19, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6019736)
He’s doing what everyone does when they realize they are going to lose their medical coverage. Getting everything fixed for the next 18 months. Everyone’s a winner. He gets a lot of fix-ups done on MLBs dime and the orioles are a better team
   5. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 19, 2021 at 05:52 PM (#6019745)
Was this the worst long term contract ever?

Probably not, but OTTOMH it's hard to think of a worse one.

Davis'a OPS+ since he signed that $161,000,000 contract: 110, 96, 49, 61, -8

Davis's WAR during that same time: 3.1, -0.6, -3.3, -0.9, -0.9. Net WAR -2.6
   6. Ron J Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:07 PM (#6019749)
At last we have an explanation. He's been playing hurt since 2016!
   7. The Duke Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:10 PM (#6019750)
The last 6 years of Pujols which is about 6/160 is as bad or worse
   8. geonose Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:19 PM (#6019751)
He’s doing what everyone does when they realize they are going to lose their medical coverage.

All players who debuted in MLB after 1/1/1980 have health coverage for life at no cost.
   9. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:24 PM (#6019752)
Pujols 2017-2021: -2.1 WAR, $140M
Davis 2017-2021: -5.7 WAR, $115M
Howard 2012-2016: -4.8 WAR, $115M
   10. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:26 PM (#6019754)
All players who debuted in MLB after 1/1/1980 have health coverage for life at no cost.

I've seen this claimed, but unsupported. Do you have a cite?

Everyone who has played one game in MLB is given a $1M+ benefit?
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#6019755)
I've seen this claimed, but unsupported. Do you have a cite?

Everyone who has played one day in an MLB game is given a $1M+ benefit?


From this website

MLB $34,000 Yearly Benefit
Major League Baseball has the best pension program of all professional sports. A big-league player needs a short amount of time—just 43 days of service—to qualify for a pension benefit. Forty-three days of service can guarantee an MLB player almost $9,000 per year pension benefit.2 One day on an active roster qualifies a player for full comprehensive medical benefits.
   12. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:45 PM (#6019757)
The link the mlb document link doesn't work, but here is the cached version.

I think investopedia is doing a poor job interpreting the document.

Nothing on that link mentions medical benefits. Disability is the closest item.

This section says you vest into the pension plan with one day of service, but that you only actual earn a benefit after 43 days of service. Your pension goes up for every 43 days, or a quarter season, you spend on a roster.


You are vested in any benefit you might earn in the Pension Plan if you complete one day of active service on or after April 1, 1980. You also must complete 43 days of credited service, however, to earn a benefit. (page 103)


Anecdotally, I've seen a former player on youtube say that you qualify for the MLB medical plan after one day of service, not lifetime medical.

Edit to share a link: https://www.reddit.com/r/baseball/comments/f7s300/matt_antonelli_1_day_in_mlb_lifetime_health/
   13. The Duke Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:47 PM (#6019758)
There was a long discussion about this somewhere and several players weighed in and said this isn’t how it works. But it’s on the internet so it must be true

I’ve yet to find someone who can explain it in detail.
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 19, 2021 at 06:54 PM (#6019760)
Pujols 2017-2021: -2.1 WAR, $140M
Davis 2017-2021: -5.7 WAR, $115M
Howard 2012-2016: -4.8 WAR, $115M


Miguel Cabrera 2017-2021: -1.2 WAR, $148 million...and he has 2 more years at $32 million per year after this! I know people think he'll obviously get to 3,000 hits and 500 HRs - he's so close, right? - but not at this rate: So far in May, his BA and SLG are the exact same....218. He's 12-for-55 with 12 singles. He has more GIDPs (3) than runs scored (2) this month. It's a change of pace from his April, when he had two HRs and a double, but hit .140 for the month.

And they feel obligated to stick him in the middle of the lineup - he's typically hitting cleanup while getting 18 hits for the entire season thus far. Once he gets paid through 2023, he'll be at negative several WAR, at a cost to the Tigers of $212 million from 2017-2023. That's the worst contract.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: May 19, 2021 at 07:01 PM (#6019763)
It's something of an urban myth it seems.

Link

There’s a popular misconception that any professional baseball player who spends even one day on a major league roster will receive free health care for life. In reality, that’s not true. Instead, what one day of service gives you is the right to buy into a healthcare plan, which isn’t really the same as free, comprehensive coverage. A player’s eligibility for health and pension benefits is tiered, and depends on how much time the player spent on a major league roster, how much service time he accrued, and can even be a matter of which years he played, as different benefits are available to different eras of players.

Now Davis has been around long enough and made enough money that his health insurance is probably whatever the fullest coverage is.

On worst contracts ... apparently Josh Hamilton made it to 3 WAR for his $125 M. Ian Desmond was a bargain at -2.5 WAR for $70 M. Chan Ho Park was 0 WAR for $85 M back in 2002 $.

The Davis contract was of course a terrible idea -- why that many years? who were they bidding against? But it was 1 year shorter and same AAV in RAW dollar terms as what Tex had gotten 7 years earlier, the same as what AGon got 4 years earlier, 2 years shorter and same AAV as Fielder got 4 years earlier. Those guys were all better but, once we control for MLB salary inflation, more expensive.

The O's of course couldn't know (but coulda guessed) that salary inflation would slow considerably ... but that still doesn't excuse 7 years. The Padres are similarly guilty with Hosmer -- much lower AAV than Davis but very long and the market for average-ish FAs has collapsed.

It's only 300 PA but Hosmer has put up a 133 OPS+ the last couple of "years." No power this year but he is hitting over 300 which is similar to his other good years. (What an odd career.)
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: May 19, 2021 at 07:02 PM (#6019764)
During the life of this current deal, Davis has hit .196/.291/.379, good for an 80 OPS+ and -2.6 WAR.


Interesting use of the word "good".
   17. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 20, 2021 at 12:51 AM (#6019869)
Chris Davis is so much closer to Mike Trout's ability than any of us are to Davis's. I feel for the guy.
   18. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: May 20, 2021 at 12:59 AM (#6019870)
Chris Davis is so much closer to Mike Trout's ability than any of us are to Davis's


So true. No way any of us would come close to hitting a 95mph fastball or one of those big bendy curves, much less be able to drive a ball 400 feet. Now these days, poor Chris ain't doing that too often, but he can do it at times. My chances are never.
   19. TJ Posted: May 20, 2021 at 05:55 AM (#6019878)
If the Orioles need another first baseman who can hit .180 while striking out 225 times, Mark Reynolds is available.


Hell, so am I!
   20. bunyon Posted: May 20, 2021 at 07:58 AM (#6019880)
If this had been known a week ago, it would have been a rational landing spot for Pujols. A slight upgrade for the O's even. With a DH. I'm not sure Albert would have gone for it but it would also have the St. Louis connection if you squint.
   21. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 20, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#6019884)
I'm not sure Albert would have gone for it but it would also have the St. Louis connection if you squint.


Albert was a Browns fan as a kid.

Chris Davis is so much closer to Mike Trout's ability than any of us are to Davis's. I feel for the guy.


Yeah, he's fun to joke about but while I don't follow the Orioles closely he seems like a perfectly decent guy who just is really bad at being a Major League Baseball player. It's not his fault the O's gave him that deal.
   22. bunyon Posted: May 20, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#6019886)
Albert was a Browns fan as a kid.

Dammit. The joke was right there and I whiffed.


Yeah, he's fun to joke about but while I don't follow the Orioles closely he seems like a perfectly decent guy who just is really bad at being a Major League Baseball player. It's not his fault the O's gave him that deal.

I have to think something physical happened. Cabrera lost power. Pujols lost speed. But Davis went from a very good (overrated, but still) hitter to not being able to even make contact. I guess I haven't paid attention to him for a couple of years but last I saw him I wouldn't say you and I couldn't match him, he looked so bad. And for a guy who had been a good MLB hitter, that suggests to me something substantially wrong, not just age and slowing a bit. I don't exactly feel bad for him - he's in the top 0.00001% of blessed individuals - but that must suck in the moment.
   23. Al Peterson Posted: May 20, 2021 at 08:31 AM (#6019888)
Chris Davis is so much closer to Mike Trout's ability than any of us are to Davis's. I feel for the guy.


For as bad as things have gone for Davis in recent years hopefully with time he will be remembered for his high moments as well. Only 29 batters have hit 50+ home runs in a season, Davis is one of them.
   24. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 20, 2021 at 08:35 AM (#6019889)
I have to think something physical happened. Cabrera lost power. Pujols lost speed. But Davis went from a very good (overrated, but still) hitter to not being able to even make contact. I guess I haven't paid attention to him for a couple of years but last I saw him I wouldn't say you and I couldn't match him, he looked so bad. And for a guy who had been a good MLB hitter, that suggests to me something substantially wrong, not just age and slowing a bit. I don't exactly feel bad for him - he's in the top 0.00001% of blessed individuals - but that must suck in the moment.


The Davis deal reminds me a bit of the Sandoval deal. It looked bad when it was signed but I don't think anyone expected it to be THIS bad THIS fast. Couple 40 homer seasons then slowly sink into the morass of hitting .190? Fine. Immediately going in the tank? Not good.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2021 at 08:43 AM (#6019895)
Reposting from a week ago:

Pujols was signed as a free agent going into his age 32 season (according to the official records). He's produced 13 WAR for $240 million.

Cabrera's extension was signed two years before he would have become a free agent, and started when he was 33. He's produced 4 WAR so far and the contract is also $240 million.

Even if Cabrera is able to add another 9 WAR, I think his contract was still worse, because if the Tigers had waited until he was a free agent they could likely have signed him for significantly less money than they did. Sure, he was good in 2015, but he missed 40 games and his power dropped significantly.

Davis right now is at -3 WAR and his contract is $161 million. So the Angels are getting an extra 16 WAR for $79 with Albert and the Tigers are getting an extra 7 WAR for $79 million with Cabrera (assuming Miggy is replacement level from here on out).

So yeah, Pujols is probably the best of those three deals.


Cabrera and Davis are about tied for the worst contract I think. You could even argue that Cabrera is worse, basically getting an extra $11M per WAR (and that number may go up if the WAR declines).
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: May 20, 2021 at 09:23 AM (#6019903)
If this had been known a week ago, it would have been a rational landing spot for Pujols. A slight upgrade for the O's even. With a DH.
Nothing for the O's has changed since a week ago. Davis has not been playing.
   27. Rally Posted: May 20, 2021 at 09:39 AM (#6019905)
Chris Davis is so much closer to Mike Trout's ability than any of us are to Davis's. I feel for the guy.


Depends on how you look at it. I might not have the ability to every now and then connect on a ball and hit it 450 feet and Davis did, at least before the latest injury. But on most days, my 0-4 would look the same in the box score as Davis's 0-4.
   28. catomi01 Posted: May 20, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6019910)
Anecdotally, I've seen a former player on youtube say that you qualify for the MLB medical plan after one day of service, not lifetime medical.


I may be mis-remembering, but I feel like 10 years is what was needed for lifetime benefits. I remember a story about some reliever who was bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors for years hanging on for a couple of extra seasons to try and get to the vesting mile-stone.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 20, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6019917)
I remember a story about some reliever who was bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors for years hanging on for a couple of extra seasons to try and get to the vesting mile-stone.
That could describe about 80 percent of players these days.
   30. dirk Posted: May 20, 2021 at 10:53 AM (#6019919)

I may be mis-remembering, but I feel like 10 years is what was needed for lifetime benefits. I remember a story about some reliever who was bouncing back and forth between the minors and majors for years hanging on for a couple of extra seasons to try and get to the vesting mile-stone.


i think this describes scott atchison who i believe had a medically complex child that would benefit from the best insurance mlb had to offer.
   31. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 20, 2021 at 11:12 AM (#6019922)
I have to think something physical happened. Cabrera lost power. Pujols lost speed. But Davis went from a very good (overrated, but still) hitter to not being able to even make contact.

Davis was a late bloomer who couldn't crack the regular lineup for Texas and didn't qualify for the batting title until he was 26. I don't recall if this was proven or not, but there is a theory that late bloomers have a short peak and then decline dramatically.

A high-K hitter like Davis, even when he was good, doesn't have much room for error. In his breakout year ('13), he had a 29.6% K-rate and a very high babip (.336) for someone who hits a lot of homers (and even then his OBP was "just" .370). He became an average hitter at 30-31 once he started striking out in the mid-30s% and was homering 5% of the time instead of 7%.

When his power really declined at 32, which brought done not only his HRs but also his babip, he became useless.
   32. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: May 20, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6019925)
I may be mis-remembering, but I feel like 10 years is what was needed for lifetime benefits.

Jeff King retired in the middle of the season, supposedly because he had just fully vested after he crossed the 10-year mark. In his defense he was playing for the late '90s Royals.
   33. Paul d mobile Posted: May 20, 2021 at 11:17 AM (#6019926)
I read speculation elsewhere that Davis had ADD, and that mlb is no longer allowing him to take his previous medication? And that this roughly corresponds to his decline? I haven't seen that anywhere else though
   34. catomi01 Posted: May 20, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6019933)
I feel like I've asked this before (for some reason the Orioles won't listen to me)...at some point over the last few seasons wouldn't it have been worth it to try and turn Davis into a reliever? I wouldn't be expecting a Kenley Jansen miracle...but just having a guy who could soak up a few blowout innings each weak while still slotting in as a bench bat in the corners would have a little more value than penciling him in at the starting 1B.
   35. bunyon Posted: May 20, 2021 at 11:39 AM (#6019936)
That would be true of all the bad contracts. Indeed, if I were a middling, hanger-on type position player, I'd work hard on being a reasonable long man to help keep my spot.

But why would Davis work on it that hard? What's in it for him?
   36. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 20, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6019943)
If this had been known a week ago, it would have been a rational landing spot for Pujols. A slight upgrade for the O's even. With a DH. I'm not sure Albert would have gone for it but it would also have the St. Louis connection if you squint.


Not sure where you are getting your 'slight upgrade' from, Pujols was at .198/.250/.372/.622 when the Angels dropped him, the O's 1B line is .236/.271/.376/.647 and DH line is .214/.268/.393/.661. More importantly Ryan Mountcastle and Trey Mancini have been splitting those spots (as well as a bit of LF) - two building block guys for the organization.
   37. bunyon Posted: May 20, 2021 at 12:46 PM (#6019949)
Upgrade from Davis. Not upgrade from all 1B everywhere. Anyone who wants one can have a 1B better than Pujols or Davis.
   38. Nasty Nate Posted: May 20, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#6019951)
They had already upgraded from Davis.
   39. Rally Posted: May 20, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6019957)
But why would Davis work on it that hard? What's in it for him?


Respect. He'd get to feel like he's making some kind of contribution, instead of being a guy who is only still in the league because of a terrible contract.
   40. catomi01 Posted: May 20, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6019964)
But why would Davis work on it that hard? What's in it for him?


Staying in the big leagues? Professional pride? If not for the contract he would have been released and retired a few years ago (and probably should have been anyway.
   41. Lars6788 Posted: May 20, 2021 at 03:43 PM (#6019974)
Chris Davis is so much closer to Mike Trout's ability than any of us are to Davis's. I feel for the guy.


That still doesn’t make Davis worthy of sympathy - no pity parties for Howard, Cabrera and of Pujols, so why the sentiment for Davis who was terrible for the contract he signed?

   42. bunyon Posted: May 20, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6019975)
If not for the contract he would have been released and retired a few years ago (and probably should have been anyway.

"If not for the contract" does a lot of work there. He has the contract. My guess is Davis would be perfectly fine with being released. He's just not going to give the money back, nor should he have to. I mean, if Davis wants to be a pitcher, try it. But you have to have buy in, you can't just make him be a pitcher (the way you could with someone not signed or pre-FA).
   43. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: May 20, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6019976)
That still doesn’t make Davis worthy of sympathy - no pity parties for Howard, Cabrera and of Pujols, so why the sentiment for Davis who was terrible for the contract he signed?


My default is to root for entertainers. Why wouldn't I? Add on the precipitous fall he's had, and my empathy endures. To me, it's no different than hoping some rookie has a fantastic debut. His contract—any player's, for that matter—is irrelevant for me.
   44. Rally Posted: May 20, 2021 at 04:15 PM (#6019977)
But you have to have buy in, you can't just make him be a pitcher


Chris is already a pitcher. Not just a pitcher, but an undefeated pitcher.

He also pitched in 2019 and got a no-decision.
   45. catomi01 Posted: May 20, 2021 at 04:50 PM (#6019980)
"If not for the contract" does a lot of work there. He has the contract. My guess is Davis would be perfectly fine with being released. He's just not going to give the money back, nor should he have to. I mean, if Davis wants to be a pitcher, try it. But you have to have buy in, you can't just make him be a pitcher (the way you could with someone not signed or pre-FA).


My point was not that he owes the Orioles anything or should give the money back or anything like that...it was more that guys who have the skills and mindset to be in the big leagues generally have to be taken out kicking and screaming...they'll generally do what it takes to stay in the big leagues.

Not everyone is the same, but if the Orioles had come up to him and said your choices are "learn to pitch or get released," and his agent said "if you get released, maybe we can get you a contract with the Long Island Ducks," he's probably on the mound before the end of the conversation.
   46. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: May 20, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6019981)
Chris is already a pitcher. Not just a pitcher, but an undefeated pitcher.

It seems fitting that in his victory, he went 0-8 with 5 K.

   47. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 20, 2021 at 08:59 PM (#6020005)
Another reason to try pitching: it might be fun. Certainly more fun than hitting .115 with zero home runs.
   48. Cooper Nielson Posted: May 20, 2021 at 09:35 PM (#6020010)
I have to think something physical happened. Cabrera lost power. Pujols lost speed. But Davis went from a very good (overrated, but still) hitter to not being able to even make contact. I guess I haven't paid attention to him for a couple of years but last I saw him I wouldn't say you and I couldn't match him, he looked so bad. And for a guy who had been a good MLB hitter, that suggests to me something substantially wrong, not just age and slowing a bit. I don't exactly feel bad for him - he's in the top 0.00001% of blessed individuals - but that must suck in the moment.

My guess was that there was something wrong with his eyes. Watching him bat in 2018, I had the impression he couldn't see the ball at all. He would take the same big swing every time, regardless of the location of the pitch, just hoping the planes would intersect.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: May 20, 2021 at 09:38 PM (#6020011)
It seems fitting that in his victory, he went 0-8 with 5 K.

Hitting to the score.

I read speculation elsewhere that Davis had ADD, and that mlb is no longer allowing him to take his previous medication? And that this roughly corresponds to his decline? I haven't seen that anywhere else though

Did you look? :-) Davis was suspended in 2014 for use of adderall (which as a stimulant I believe required two positive tests to get suspended). He had a TUE for the drug previously, somehow messed up filing for the TUE in 2014, struggled so badly he took the chance. Link The TUE was restored in 2015 (see Wiki) and he had an excellent season. Whether the TUE continued past I didn't find info on (not that I looked hard). Note all of this was before the big contract.

ADD diagnoses are alarmingly high among athletes (or were), leading some cynics to speculate that false/borderline diagnoses were sometimes being made to allow the player to use stimulants to enhance their play. But to be clear, there is no probable cause that I am aware of to suspect Davis's ADD diagnosis isn't legit.

Now, his decline ... not that unusual. Many around here predicted it -- not me and if we're honest, there are always a lot of voices around here (sometimes me) that predict imminent decline for any FA. But under both the "aging oafball" theory dating back to Bill James and the "late bloomers don't age well" theory (I recall Dan S claims evidence for this and maybe even incorporates it into ZiPS but I may be getting my nerds mixed up), Davis would not have been expected to age well. So the critics got this one very right. At the time, I suggested that basically the O's were mainly just hoping for a couple more big seasons out of him then they'd just have to suffer through the rest. Obviously it was even worse than that.

But looking at the actual pattern of the decline, it doesn't look as unusual in retrospect as I remember it. It wasn't exactly immediate and dramatic. From 2013-18, he went excellent, below-average, excellent, (contract), average for 1B, below-average, disaster. It all happened maybe two years earlier than expected but that pattern isn't too unusual. Mo Vaughn went from a 150 OPS+ hitter to 115 in one season, although he hung at 115 for a good bit. Boog was a very good platoon-y type (137 OPS+) in his early 30s then dropped to 90 then was gone in short order. Luzinski put up a 150 OPS+ from 24-27, dropped to 125 for 28-32, dropped to 89 and was done. Zisk put up a 137 for 24-28, then 120 for 29-33, then 94 and was done. Nate Colbert put up a 132 from 23-27, dropped to 96, never played a full season again while hitting atrociously. (Was there an injury?) Good old Erubiel Durazo put up a very solid 126 for 25-30 (including 138 at 30) then fewer than 200 PA at 79 and done. From 26-30, Richie Sexson put up a 135 OPS+ then a drop to 117, then 84 then 89 and done.

Sexson and Davis look fairly similar.

RS 5604 PA, 306 HR (45 twice), 120 OPS+, he signed a 4/$50 contract (reasonably big at the time) just before his last really good season.
CD 5630 PA, 295 HR (53, 47), 106 OPS+ (118 before things got really bad), big contract after his last really good season.

This sort of thing is always a risk and probably especially for the double whammy of late-blooming oafballer (at least he wasn't super-fat). Giving Davis whatever the 2016 equivalent of Sexson's 4/$50 would have been reasonable, then it's just a standard "oh well, that didn't work out" contract as opposed to contender for worst of all-time. But then there's almost nothing that rivals that 2018 (-3.3 WAR on a 49 OPS+ in 522 PA), a season that will make almost any contract look bad. But IMO, it was always the 7 years that made no sense (other than it went through the magic age of 36).**

In that way if it had been vaguely Hosmer-esque -- say 7/$100 as a deferred 4/$90 contract or something -- maybe even that would make sense.
   50. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 21, 2021 at 06:04 AM (#6020036)
Indeed with Nate COlbert there was a back injury the details of which escape me
   51. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 21, 2021 at 09:06 AM (#6020039)
Not everyone is the same, but if the Orioles had come up to him and said your choices are "learn to pitch or get released,"


I can't see how this would be a positive for the Orioles in any way. Davis (or any other non-pitcher out there) is never going to be a good enough pitcher to bring into a game situation that matters. Say the Orioles do want him to learn up on it so he can "pitch" the inevitable blow out innings and not get hurt, that means he's going to be taking focus away from his bat, which is his only chance of providing any value to the team.
   52. catomi01 Posted: May 21, 2021 at 09:20 AM (#6020040)
...that means he's going to be taking focus away from his bat, which is his only chance of providing any value to the team.


It's been almost 5 years and 1500 plate appearances since his bat provided any value to the team.
   53. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 21, 2021 at 09:40 AM (#6020043)
It's been almost 5 years and 1500 plate appearances since his bat provided any value to the team.


Very true.
   54. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 21, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6020045)
But looking at the actual pattern of the decline, it doesn't look as unusual in retrospect as I remember it.


It's very unusual in how bad Davis got. Not a single other player that you mention ever had an OPS+ as low as Davis' 49 in 2018, even in a partial season. And it's not like he was playing solely because of the contract at that point; he had been a league-average hitter the year before, with 26 homers, and was only 32.

The other players you mentioned had generally diminished by the age of 32, but in their case diminished meant an OPS+ of 125. The worst player (and best comp) you mentioned was Richie Sexson, who declined to OPS+'s in the 80s at that point. Nobody else was down around 50.
   55. sunday silence (again) Posted: May 21, 2021 at 02:57 PM (#6020097)
Nate Colbert had 51 OPS+ in 237 AB for two teams in 1975. He was 29 yrs old. I guess your general pt. remains but still there are probably a few others out there.
   56. Rally Posted: May 21, 2021 at 03:09 PM (#6020103)
He would take the same big swing every time, regardless of the location of the pitch, just hoping the planes would intersect.


That sounds like the Angels Josh Hamilton. Even then, his strikeout rates were not extraordinary, but that description is exactly what his swing looked like. Some thing, over and over, regardless of the ball location.

It’s Josh’s 40th birthday today.
   57. Walt Davis Posted: May 21, 2021 at 09:12 PM (#6020169)
The other players you mentioned had generally diminished by the age of 32, but in their case diminished meant an OPS+ of 125. The worst player (and best comp) you mentioned was Richie Sexson, who declined to OPS+'s in the 80s at that point. Nobody else was down around 50.

Sure. Davis got the chance to do that only because the team still owed him 5/$115 and the team was bad anyway. Those other guys were not given the chance to play after putting up their single season of 80-90 OPS+ (or got an NRI from somebody the next spring but didn't produce). If Davis doesn't have his contract, he's released mid-2018. But sure if we want to say that a drop from a 95 OPS+ to a 50 is "dramatic" that's fine -- the guy was done if he'd put up a 80-85. But what's unusual isn't the level of performance, it's that he was given so much playing time to demonstrate how far he'd fallen. And that's because he was still owed millions. Davis did hit the wall a year or two earlier than most guys of his type.

How many 1B/DH are allowed to put up 1946 PA of a 85 OPS+? Pujols. Cabrera has put up a 51 OPS+ so far this year, has been replacement-level for 4 "years" ... has two years left on his contract, I haven't heard any suggestions of retirement or release. Votto is a 226 hitter and below-replacement player for his last 341 PA but has 2 years left on his contract.

It's a classic case of selection bias. There have been lots of guys who would have put up OPS+ like 50 in a full season at 30-33 if given the chance to do so. But they weren't. Most such guys were gone after putting up an 85 the year before or were given 150 PA of putridity then shown the door. For obvious reasons. The main difference between Davis and those guys is 5/$115 M. It was a perfect storm in that he was also on a terrible team who might as well have kept playing him in hopes he'd break out of it.

You want some more examples? Glenn Davis -- 130 OPS+ from 24-29, then two average 1B seasons, then 123 PA of a 22 OPS+ at age 32. The man's ISO went from 272 at 29 to 233, 146, 53. Alvin Davis -- 135 OPS+ from 23-29, 76 at 30, 86 in 118 PA and done. Incaviglia threw in a 76 at 27, a 82 at 30, didn't play at 31, was OK at 32, finished up with a 79 and a -23. Hollandsworth was never as good as any of these guys but got to finish off his career with a 73 and a 78 (566 total PA across those two seasons, not trivial). At 32, Willie Upshaw had to go to Japan where he had one good season and one terrible one. Jose Cruz Jr was quite good through 31, followed that up with two OPS+ in the mid-80s then a 19 in 60 PA. George Bell put up a 63 in 436 PA at age 33. Preston Wilson put up a 73 at 29, bounced back at 30, a 85 at 31, a 50 in 68 PA at 32 and done. Nate McLouth put up a 69 OPS+ at 28, bounced back to around 90, finished with a 45 in 162 PA at 32. Trumbo was a perfectly decent hitter at 32 and given just 31 PA of a 34 OPS+ at 33 before being shown the door (by the O's! the same season Davis was allowed to put up a 61). Barfield was above-average at 31 and was given just 105 PA of a 22 OPS+ at 32 and was gone. Justin Smoak was given 132 PA of 62 OPS+ at 33; Logan Morrison, fresh off a 133 OPS+ at 29, finished off his career with a 74 in 359 PA, 69 in 38 and 32 in 28. Chris Carter was given 208 PA of a 71 at 30. A few years back, Odor put up a 63; he put up a 64 last year; but he's signed through next year so he's busy putting up a 81 for the Yanks.

And of course Khris Davis put up a 84 at 31, a 78 last year and a 44 in his meager 25 PA this year.

Anyway, in addition to Sexson, these guys are pretty good comps for Chris Davis (and you'll notice a deeply depressing pattern here):

Glenn Davis 4189 PA, 190 HR (3 top 10), 123 OPS+, 22 OPS+ in 123 PA at 32
Khris Davis 3715 PA, 218 HR (42, 43, 48), 118 OPS+, 82 in 657 at 31-33
Alvin Davis 5010 PA, 160 HR (not a big deal), 127 OPS+, 78 in 646 at 30-31

FWIW, I ripped my knee to shreds at 32 pretty much ending my softball career.

and some less depressing ones comps:

Bell 6592 PA, 265 HR (47), 113 OPS+, 63 in 436 at 33
Inky 4677 PA, 206 HR (2 top 10), 104 OPS+, 62 in 201 at 33-34
Carter ... basically half of Davis's career, 71 in 208 at 30
Trumbo 4419 PA, 218 HR (47), 34 in 31 at 33

Carter is a classic -- led the NL in HR with 41 in 2016. The Brewers didn't even bother to re-sign him. The Yanks grabbed him and released him after that age 30 performance, the A's picked him up but didn't play him, let him go and the Angels picked him up for 2018 in the minors, sold him to the Twins who released him 6 weeks later. That's 4 teams deciding the defending NL HR champ's skilled deteriorated so badly in one season that he had no place in baseball. (He had been below average in 2015-16 despite the HRs.)
   58. Gotta Say Posted: May 22, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6020272)
Davis was a late bloomer who couldn't crack the regular lineup for Texas and didn't qualify for the batting title until he was 26.
While the second part of this is factual, this is an odd way of describing a guy who hit 38 major-league home runs before his 24th birthday. I'm not in good enough shape to hand-wave that aggressively.
   59. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 22, 2021 at 05:06 PM (#6020297)
Anyway, in addition to Sexson, these guys are pretty good comps for Chris Davis (and you'll notice a deeply depressing pattern here):
Players named Davis age terribly?

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