Analysis: Thoughts on the Orioles re-signing Chris Davis
The Baltimore Sun|
Jan 16, 2016 | 9:52 AM
Did the Orioles spend too much in re-signing slugger Chris Davis and can they still improve the team before spring training?
Here's what our reporters and editors think of the Orioes re-signing Chris Davis to a seven-year, $161 million deal:
Josh Land, Orioles editor: In this wacky offseason where Jeff Samardzija got $90 million, Jason Heyward got $184 million and Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes are left waiting for scraps, Chris Davis did the wise thing in returning to the Orioles. It was clear from the team's winter-meetings offer of $150 million that the club valued Davis more than everyone else and the megadeal many expected him to receive wasn't going to be found outside Baltimore. Few expected the Orioles to be able to retain their core with Matt Wieters, Davis and Darren O'Day headed to free agency. All three will be back and if the Orioles rotation can return to 2014 form, the club will return to playoff contention in 2016.
Eduardo A. Encina, Orioles beat writer: In recent days, the Orioles were just about to give up on their pursuit of Davis. It had dragged on long enough in their eyes, and they needed to turn elsewhere to fill the middle of their lineup. But in a matter of days, the two sides came to an agreement that fully commits themselves to each other for the next seven years. Fans can no longer call the Orioles bottom-feeders, because they ponied up big money to retain core players Davis, Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters. Their payroll is now beyond the $130 million mark. Now the biggest question is what’s left for pitching, because the Orioles still weren’t good enough last year with Davis to make the postseason.
Jon Meoli, reporter: Chris Davis' club-record deal came at a time when it seemed the team was closest to moving on from him and assembling their team going forward with other pieces. Locking up any player into his late 30s isn't typically the right move, but there's a chance Davis produces at the level he did in 2013 and 2015 to give the team something near the value of the contract. Most importantly, the 2016 Orioles will be a much better team than they were when you went to bed.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The new question is, where do the Orioles go from here? The Orioles still have done little to improve their pitching staff and now that they've ponied up for Chris Davis, it remains to be seen just how much money is still available to sign a free-agent starter, or -- for that matter -- one more corner outfielder. As configured, the Orioles still cannot say they are a better team than they were last year.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: The Orioles had to make a big splash this offseason and they did. Re-signing Chris Davis puts a left-handed power bat in their lineup for the next seven years and protects Manny Machado, Adam Jones and Jonathon Schoop, all right-handed hitters. They still need to add some starting pitching depth, but I would expect those to be low-cost, make-good contracts.