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Orioles and Scott Boras have met to discuss how Chris Davis can improve

Orioles and Scott Boras have met to discuss how Chris Davis can improve

When the Orioles signed Chris Davis to a team-record $161 million deal ahead of the 2016 season, they were expecting the left-handed slugger to be a perennial candidate for the league lead in home runs while being a versatile defender at multiple positions.

Instead, Davis has been a black hole in the lineup. No one in the majors has more strikeouts than Davis since the start of that contract, his home run totals have fallen every year and he’s played almost exclusively first base and designated hitter.

“We’re trying everything we can,” Orioles GM Mike Elias told NBC Sports Washington’s Todd Dybas. “He’s been struggling now for years and there are a lot of reasons for that and we continue to look into it. But the reality is, as you said, he is under contract and it’s something not to take lightly and because of that we’re going to be focused on getting the most out of him that we can. But it’s a very frustrating situation for him and for us.”

At his annual Winter Meetings impromptu press conference, Davis’ agent Scott Boras told reporters that he’s spoken with Orioles officials about how they can help the first baseman improve his production next season.

Davis, who spends his offseasons in Dallas, is reportedly not interested in attending a hitting school. Both Boras and the Orioles are hoping to come up with a different approach that will help him contribute to the lineup next season.

Baltimore still has Davis under contract for three more seasons, but the deferred money in his contract has the team paying him until 2037.

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Robert Manfred hopes Orioles and Nationals resolve MASN dispute soon

Robert Manfred hopes Orioles and Nationals resolve MASN dispute soon

In a break from persistent questions about the Houston Astros and their cheating scandal, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred briefly addressed the Orioles and Nationals MASN dispute at a press conference Sunday.

Speaking at the Braves’ spring training facility, Manfred addressed the media — mostly about the Astros — but fielded one question about the Orioles and their ongoing litigation with the Nationals over the television network that covers them both.

“In terms of the MASN dispute, there’s an RSDC (Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee) ruling,” Manfred said. “There’s a sum of money that is due and owing. There’s some legal issues surrounding those payments that need to be resolved and I’m hopeful that once those back payments get made, we’ll get into a regular process for setting rights fees for both clubs and moving forward in a more business-like way.”

The Nationals, who came to Washington, D.C., in 2005, have been in dispute with the Orioles since 2012, when the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement over how much money the Nationals should receive.

In late September 2019, The Baltimore Sun reported that the two sides were still about $30 million apart from an agreement. According to that same report, the Nationals received $41.5 million in profits during a five-year stretch from 2012-16. The Orioles received $234.8 million.

The original deal, which was set into place in 2005, heavily favored the Orioles. The Nationals’ stake in MASN was 10 percent and set to increase slowly until the year 2032.

Baltimore, which has won a combined 101 games in the last two seasons, is once again expected to find itself at the bottom of the standings. Washington is fresh off a World Series victory, its first in franchise history.

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Chris Davis briefly considered retirement over the offseason

Chris Davis briefly considered retirement over the offseason

Chris Davis has three years left on his seven-year, $161 million contract. And he nearly walked away from it.

According to multiple reporters in Sarasota, Florida for the Orioles' first team workout of the spring, Davis admitted he considered walking away from baseball after another rough season. 

Davis, 33, slashed .179/.276/.326 last season with 36 RBIs and 12 home runs — the lowest totals of his career in a season in which he played at least 100 games.

After signing his monster contract in 2016, Davis’ play has fallen significantly. In those four years, he’s slashed .198/.294/.385 and struck out 745 times in 2,063 plate appearances. 

With the Orioles in the midst of a rebuild, there will soon be younger talent looking to take over Davis’ spot at first base. The first player in that wave will be Ryan Mountcastle, who last season in Triple-A Norfolk earned International League Most Valuable Player after a season where he slashed .312/.344/.527 and had 25 home runs and an .871 OPS. 

Davis also told reporters that if his play doesn’t improve, he’ll have the same conversation with his wife after the 2020 season. 

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