Orioles manager Buck Showalter and his players have begun reacting to the club coming to terms on a seven-year, $161 million contract with free-agent slugger Chris Davis.
Manager Buck Showalter
On Davis' return:
"Scoring runs wasn't an issue for us last year and happily we've improved it a little bit with [Mark] Trumbo and Chris. We lost [Wei-Yin] Chen from our rotation and we've got some work to do there, but if you had told me at the end of the season that we'd be able to bring back Matt [Wieters], Darren [O'Day] and Chris, I would have been pretty happy about that, because those are three guys who are a big part of what we are as a team."
"I think everybody is proud of the relationship these players have with the city and with each other, whether it's J.J. [Hardy] or Matt or Adam Jones or Jonathan Schoop and O'Day. I don't want to call it comfort, because that indicates complacency, but when you're in a place that has shown a lot of confidence in you and you've established yourself as a player and as a person, it just makes me feel good to see the relationship between the players and ownership."
On what it says about the organization:
"Obviously, we're getting a good player back, but I think the other thing that it represents is the continuity we've established with our coaching staff and players."
"It's nice because me and Chris are very close and close friends, so it's nice to have him back and be able to go through our season and go through our lives together at the same time. It's nice to have him back in the lineup. You're not going to find a guy with his kind of athletic ability and power anywhere, so on both fronts it's a great feeling to have him back. It's one of the things I think you're seeing it that in our clubhouse we're so close and such a close group of guys that everybody want to come back if it works out and I'm glad it all worked out for Chris and he's back."
On Davis wanting to be a part of Orioles' clubhouse culture:
"I think mostly it shows you that in baseball and life, you never know quite how it's going to go. We can think about how things are going to happen all we want, but until it actually happens it can go either way and this culture we've been able to build in this clubhouse, it's a very attractive quality to the guys who have been in it. I think anytime you have a culture that guys want to be a part of, it's probably the best recruiting tool to keep guys and bring guys in because when you're with a bunch of guys for over 200 days over the course of the year, knowing everyone is working toward the same goal is critical."
On whether Wieters had a hand in recruiting Davis:
"I kept in contact with him, but we never really talked contract-wise. I always made him know I wanted him back and the guys wanted him back, but other than that, the thing is that everybody in the clubhouse respects that this is a process that has to go on when you're making a major life decision and we're all happy that it led him back to Baltimore and I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings."
"I'm happy that we're getting the guys back that we're getting back. When you've earned the respect of that clubhouse, it's something you want to keep around. But on top of that, I think the biggest thing you can take out of an offseason is that the offeseason is the offseason for a reason and when we get to spring training and start working for the season, it doesn't matter if it's the same guys or different guys, games are won or lost from April to October. So the offseason, we'll always want to add as much talent to that clubhouse, but whatever is there when we key up in April is what we're going to have to make us as good as possible."
On texting with Davis on Saturday:
"I just said, 'Tell me if it's true. Don't play with my emotions.' I'm extremely excited to have him back and I'm really happy for him to be able to come back to Baltimore and a city that really embraced him and I know will embrace him moving forward."
"I didn't know he was this close to signing, but I knew he had some pretty good offers on the table.
"I think it's great for us as players. You're always looking at what the team is trying to do and for them to go out and spend some money this offseason, I think it shows that we're not just allowing guys to become free agents and then, 'See you later.' We're willing to pay guys what they deserve. I think it's huge. I know Scott [Boras] went out to meet with Mr. [Peter] Angelos, so I think it shows that Mr. Angelos and his family, they're willing to spend the money to field a competitive team and that's important."
On whether he felt Davis would end up elsewhere:
"Recently a little bit. When I was at the minicamp, I was talking to some people and I felt the closer we got to spring training, I thought the Orioles might just go in a different direction, because I knew with Scott and Chris and the way he represents, they're not afraid to wait for the best deal. So I know on that end, there was a chance they could wait a little bit longer. So I didn't know if the Orioles were going to turn the page and maybe go after [Yoenis] Cespedes or go get somebody different. I was surprised we went out and retained Chris, but at the same time, not only did he do great things on the field but he's also a good teammate."
"You add him and getting Darren back and getting [Wieters] back, the biggest thing is we already know those guys. We already know what to expect from them in the clubhouse. We know what their ability is like out on the field. I think that's the biggest thing. You know what you're going to get from the person standpoint. Buck always preaches that it's not just about bringing in guys, it's about bringing in the right guys. And we know those guys are the right type of guys for our clubhouse."