As season comes to a close, Dan Duquette still sees re-signing Chris Davis as top priority

Re-signing Chris Davis is still a priority, Dan Duquette says, but can the Orioles afford him?

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette reiterated on Sunday that he sees attempting to re-sign first baseman Chris Davis as a top priority.

Davis, one of the Orioles’ six pending free agents, just completed one of the most prolific offensive seasons in club history. He led the majors with 47 homers, the fourth-highest single-season total in Orioles history.

“He’s had a great year and he’s been a great player for us, so obviously, we’d like to have him back,” Duquette said. “Whether we can do that in the market, that remains to be seen, but we’re going to try.”

Over the past three seasons, Davis’ 126 homers are the most in the majors, 15 more than former Oriole Nelson Cruz, who was last year’s home run king before signing a four-year, $57-million deal with the Mariners.

If the Orioles are unable to re-sign Davis, it would mark the second straight year they allowed the majors’ home-run leader to walk in free agency.

Asked if he believes the Orioles have the necessary resources to re-sign Davis, Duquette said:

“We always field a very competitive team in Baltimore and we extend our resources to get our payroll as high as we can get it and still keep it affordable for our fans. So that’s what we’re going to do. I don’t know where the market is going, but I know we can field a competitive team next year.”

Besides Davis, catcher Matt Wieters, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, right-hander reliever Darren O’Day, outfielder Gerardo Parra and infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce are free agents.

“We have a lot of work to do this offseason because we want our team to compete and contend next year,” Duquette said. “Hopefully we have solid enough talent that we can add people in the offseason to where we need to add.”

Following the Orioles’ 9-4 season-finale win, Davis – who is represented by Scott Boras – said he’s open to listening to offers from Duquette.

“I think letting the season play out, letting teams finish before everything gets out,” Davis said. “I haven’t talked to my agent or Dan. We may have talks before then. We may not. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’m kind of all ears right now. It’s the first time I’ve gone through this. There’s a lot of unexpected things coming my way, but I’m open.”

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