Chris Davis and the Baltimore Orioles are nearing a contract for the stand-out third baseman, ESPN reported from a source close to the negotiations.
The fact that Chris Davis is signing a seven-year-long deal worth $160 million isn’t that shocking. What is surprising, however, is that when the playing pact expires in 2022, Chris Davis will still be due nearly $3 million dollars annually for 15 more years as the player agreed to $42 million in deferred installments, the Baltimore Sun reported.
That’s not a typo. Chris Davis does indeed have the Baltimore Orioles set to pay the All-Star until 2037, meaning the third baseman would be 51 years old when payments cease.
— MLB (@MLB) January 16, 2016
The deal with Davis is the largest contract the Baltimore Orioles have ever agreed to with a baseball player. Prior to this, the Baltimore Orioles had signed Adam Jones in 2012 to $85.5 million, ESPN reported on Saturday. The move also ensures the Orioles will be over the $118 million in payroll that last year’s squad commanded, setting a franchise record.
The amount of money being spent on Chris Davis is not lost on Baltimore Orioles coach Buck Showalter. The skipper quietly had appealed to the slugger to reduce his request to make sure the Orioles could continue to acquire talent around Davis, possibly to no avail.
“How much is enough? I asked Chris during the season, ‘Chris, when you walk into a Target store, can you buy anything you want? So, how much is enough?”
Indeed, Chris Davis was seeking more money originally from the Baltimore Orioles. Represented by super agent Scott Boras, Davis was looking for a contract in the $200 million range for eight years, paying him around $25 million each year. Boras and his client passed on the original offer from the Baltimore Orioles, a pact that would have paid Davis roughly $22 million annually.
Davis — who will turn 30 before the season kicks off in 2016 — agreed to the team’s contract only two days after the Baltimore Orioles had offered a contract to Yoenis Cespedes. The frustrated Orioles management team viewed the free-agent outfielder as a second option if the negotiations with Chris continued to break down.
The Baltimore offense may be one of the most-feared groups in the majors this season with a projected lineup that could include as many as five players who have hit more than 30 home runs in a single season. If Davis is joined by Adam Jones, Mark Trumbo, Manny Machado, and J.J. Hardy, that groups could comprise a core batting order that will command pitchers’ respect.
With the offense in good shape, Showalter said his team’s next focus should be adding an arm to the bullpen.
“Scoring runs wasn’t an issue for us last year and happily we’ve improved it a little bit with 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, Darren 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.”
A popular figure in the city, Chris Davis — who hit 47 home runs with 117 RBIs last season — will be welcomed back into the fold with open arms. Count Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters among those excited to see Davis return to the Orioles this year.
“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.”
What do you think about the potential 21-year-long contract the Baltimore Orioles are offering Chris Davis this off-season? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]