NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the Orioles offer to Chris Davis is anything close to the $150 million reported on Wednesday night, then the team has entered a new era.
According to MASNsports.com, the offer to Davis is “in the neighborhood” of $150 million and could include deferred money.
Let’s say the Orioles offered Davis $25 million—with some deferred—for six years. That would be $150 million, and that dwarfs any known offers they’ve made.
The Orioles have also been linked to Justin Upton, San Diego’s free agent outfielder, and unlike Davis, a right-handed hitter. The Orioles badly need left-handed hitters, but Upton, who has speed and has a lifetime on-base percentage of .352, represents an opportunity to diversify the team’s offense.
Dan Duquette used Tuesday’s meeting with reporters who regularly cover the Orioles to warn implicitly that he wasn’t going to wait much longer for Davis and agent Scott Boras to make up their minds on whether to engage with the Orioles.
If Davis doesn’t re-sign with Baltimore, fans can’t be disappointed with the club. If they’ve offered well in excess of $20 million for five or six years, then that’s a genuine offer in this time of megabucks free agents.
Should Davis—or the Orioles—move on, would they be so generous with a player like Upton?
Under Duquette, the Orioles have re-signed Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy, and now Darren O’Day with nice offers. Their biggest free agent catch from the outside was Ubaldo Jimenez’s four years and $50 million.
The Orioles like familiarity, and have a better idea of what they’re getting with players such as Hardy, Jones and O’Day. They don’t know what Upton or Alex Gordon may bring. As a result, they may not be as aggressive with outside free agents.
RELATED Orioles meet with Boras about Chris Davis
Duquette admitted on Tuesday that he likes it better when he doesn’t have a huge number of competitors for a player. With O’Day, he had a trump card in the pitcher’s admiration of Buck Showalter, and he preferred staying in the area because his wife is a Washington-based correspondent for FOX.
The Orioles still have those outfielders to get, still want some more pitchers, and have the Davis situation hamstringing them.
It will be fascinating to see if they’re really serious about moving on from Davis if he doesn’t take them up soon and equally interesting if Boras thinks he can get a better offer somewhere else.