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How long can Chris Davis drama continue?


How long can Chris Davis drama continue?

Three months ago, the Orioles played their final game of the 2015 season. Exactly three months from now, they’ll play their first of the 2016 season.

We can assume that there will be some clarity in the Chris Davis situation between now and then.

In the early evening of Oct. 4, Davis had presumably hit the final two home runs of his Orioles career, and he spoke about how appreciative he was about the fans in Baltimore.

We haven’t heard from Davis since.

Throughout the free agent process, Davis has allowed his agent, Scott Boras to speak for him. Boras has tried to sell Davis as not only a quality first baseman, but a versatile player who can play the outfield, too.

The Orioles, who apparently have been his only serious suitor, understand that, and they’ve patiently played along—offering Davis money that few fans could quarrel with, that should, but won’t, forever silence those who claim the team refuses to spend.

Certainly, fans are far past the point of impatience with Davis, and with the Ravens’ season coming to an inglorious end on Sunday, there’ll be more attention on the Orioles now.

But, if Davis ends up re-signing with the Orioles, which still seems to be a real possibility, that will be forgiven—and quickly.

In 2014, despite an average below .200, Davis was still cheered in Baltimore. Last year, the fans still loved him after he completed his 25-game suspension for use of Adderall without a prescription.

Surely it will make Buck Showalter’s life easier if he can start contemplating lineups with Davis in it—or not. But, Showalter is adaptable and he can easily start thinking about where Mark Trumbo fits in, and if perhaps Pedro Alvarez would work.

In this unprecedented time of free agency, more quality players are available after New Year’s than any time before, and Davis’ decision isn’t likely to influence the other top hitters: Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon and Justin Upton.

Davis is the top first baseman and power hitter available. Teams would have to surrender a draft choice to sign him, but that doesn’t seem to be a deterrent.

MORE ORIOLES: Who will join Griffey in Hall of Fame?

Even if the Orioles reported offer of seven years and $150 million includes substantial deferred money and excludes an opt-out, there are few teams capable of matching—or exceeding it.

Boras is looking for one.

How about the Yankees? Over the holidays, they acquired the controversial reliever Aroldis Chapman for some lesser prospects from Cincinnati. Chapman could be subject to a suspension in a domestic abuse case.

With Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira nearing the end of their contracts, perhaps Davis could fit in there?

What about the Red Sox? David Ortiz is retiring after this season. Another big hitter would fit in well in Boston.

According to Baseballreference.com, the Yankees have an estimated payroll of just under $230 million for 2016, and the Red Sox’s is a shade below $199 million.

Davis doesn’t look like a fit there.

Other big spenders have massive estimated payrolls, too. Detroit ($177 million), San Francisco ($168), Los Angeles Angels ($167), and Texas ($144) don’t see to have the room for another massive contract.

And a team that does, Houston, seems not to have the inclination to spend.

The St. Louis Cardinals, whose payroll is probably a decent match for the Orioles, were a rumored destination for Davis earlier in the offseason, but they have an estimated payroll of $143.2 million—even without Jason Heyward.

Of course, Boras can always hope that the Astros change their mind or that an outlier—San Diego, for instance—ponies up.

The Padres’ projected payroll is under $100 million, and they could certainly use Davis.

Boras can probably hang on another two or three weeks if the Orioles don’t decisively move in another direction.

If the price for another of the top hitters, Cespedes, Gordon or Upton drops, then they well move on, but it’s apparent that the Orioles are still stuck on Davis, and that’s O.K.

He’s younger than Cespedes and Gordon, has more power than Upton, and is left-handed.

Boras is in an unusual position. Not only is Davis unsigned, but so is Wei-Yin Chen, another of his clients, and there hasn’t only been a little more chatter about him.

Chen, Yovani Gallardo and Ian Kennedy are the only quality starters left on the market. While it seemed absurd at the start of free agency to contemplate both Davis and Chen returning to the Orioles, now it seems merely unlikely.

Boras is asking for a five-year deal for Chen, and teams have recoiled at that, but he’s apparently got more suitors for the left-handed pitcher than for his left-handed slugger.

It’s just not as many as he’d like.

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

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Orioles' Adam Jones purchases Cal Ripken Jr.'s former estate, per report

Cal Ripken Jr.'s 25-acre, 8,545 square-foot home went up for auction this past Saturday and the highest bidder was......Adam Jones? 

The center fielder is purchasing the Orioles legend's former Reisterstown, Md. estate, according to The Athletic

Placed on the market in 2016 for $12.5 million, Ripken reduced the price to $9.7 million last year but was still unable to find a willing buyer. The estate was eventually put up for auction and sold to Jones for an undisclosed amount. 

The six bedroom home has 10 full bathrooms, a movie theater, a gym that overlooks an indoor basketball court, a pool and a baseball field with batting cages, a locker room and soaking tubs. One of the tubs was taken from Memorial Stadium and used by Johnny Unitas and Art Donovan, but Ripken is keeping that one. 

What makes this purchase even more interesting is that Jones will become a free agent at the end of the 2018 season, but that does not mean he plans on re-signing with the team. The 32-year old, who is in his last year of a six-year $85.5 million contract, is known to dip his toes in real estate investments and his wife, Audie Fugett, is a Baltimore native. 

The deal is scheduled to close on June 11. 


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David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense


David Price's complete game shuts down Baltimore's offense

BOSTON -- One strike away from a four-hit shutout, David Price happily settled for a complete game and his strongest outing of the season.

Price struck out eight and held Baltimore to five hits, including two in the ninth when the Orioles broke up the shutout before the Boston left-hander finished them off in a 6-2 victory for the Red Sox on Thursday night.

"He was amazing," Boston manager Alex Cora said. "He was outstanding. You saw it. Bad swings, up, down, in and out, changeup, cutter, sinkers ... that was fun to watch."

J.D. Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first, and Xander Bogaerts homered with two on during a four-run fifth, giving Price more than enough cushion against the struggling Orioles.

Price (4-4) struck out eight and didn't walk a batter while winning consecutive starts for the first time this season. He cruised through the first eight innings before Andrew Susac led off the ninth with a double, the first Baltimore player to reach second base in the game.

Manny Machado spoiled the shutout bid with a two-out homer, but Price finished off Baltimore on Jonathan Schoop's pop-up to center as the Red Sox improved to 4-0 against Baltimore by taking the makeup game that was rained out on Patriots' Day.

"They're a free-swinging team," said Price, who threw just 95 pitches. "You can go out there and do that or you can go out there for three innings and give up a bunch of runs."

Danny Valencia had a pair of hits for the punchless Orioles, who have lost three of four and have the second-fewest wins in the American League. Valencia nearly had a double in the fifth, but got thrown out at second by left fielder Andrew Benintendi, one of several strong defensive plays that helped Price go the distance.

Hanley Ramirez also caught a foul pop on the top step of Boston's dugout in the second and Mookie Betts ran down a fly ball that was headed to the wall in right.

"The defensive plays that I had today, it makes everything a lot easier," Price said.

Kevin Gausman (3-3) went 4 2/3 innings for Baltimore, allowing six runs and eight hits while striking out six and walking two. He was pulled after Bogaerts drove a high fastball out to left with two men on during Boston's four-run fifth.

"We just got into some sticky situations where we just had to dig ourselves out of a hole and we just couldn't," Susac said.

The Orioles also weren't happy with the strike zone, which Susac said forced Gausman to throw some pitches the Red Sox pounced upon.

Manager Buck Showalter agreed with his catcher.

"I'm very biased, but I didn't think he got a fair shake tonight," Showalter said. "There were a lot of pitches that could have and should have gone his way."