Allegedly, the Baltimore Orioles have pegged slugging first baseman Chris Davis as their number one priority this offseason. I say allegedly, because the Orioles have never issued a contract in excess of $100 million. During Dan Duquette’s tenure in the front office, the team has been reticent to sign a player for more than four years. If the Orioles are serious about keeping Davis, it will probably take at least five years, and between $110-125 million.
Davis already made comments last winter about wanting to play for a winner the rest of his career. It’s hard to predict how he will feel about an 81-81 season that saw the club’s starting pitching struggle mightily with no real hope on the horizon. There will be plenty of suitors for Davis, and his free agency could turn into a bidding war as there are very few first basemen left in the league capable of approaching 50 home runs on a regular basis.
If the Orioles are supposedly willing to pony up the cash to Davis but he signs elsewhere, will the team respond by opening the checkbook for another big ticket free agent? I certainly hope so, otherwise Adam Jones may stage a mutiny and Manny Machado may rethink his willingness to sign a long-term extension with the club.
Here are a few bigger names the Orioles could consider in the outfield (a huge weakness last year) if Davis takes his talents elsewhere.