1.) At least five years and $100 million for Chris Davis
It’s going to take the first $100 million-plus contract in franchise history for the Orioles to retain their slugging first baseman, but if the Orioles are to realistically contend going forward with this current iteration of the lineup, keeping Davis is a must. The 29-year-old Texan rebounded from a miserable 2014 campaign with a league-leading total of 47 home runs, and was a threat to go deep every time he stepped to the plate in the second half. Davis proved himself far more than a one-hit wonder with the 2015 season.
Davis will likely command a five- or six-year contract in free agency. Ryan Howard got five years and $125 million big ones. Davis may not be quite at that level, but someone will probably be willing to go six years, $120 million. Yes, he will be pushing 36 by the time a six-year deal runs out, but he is not a bad body first baseman. His body should hold up fairly well, and the Orioles could always DH him at times to keep him fresh as he ages. There are no flawless contracts given to players who will be approaching their mid-30’s by the end of a blockbuster deal, but to get the strong production in the first three to four years of the deal, a team must be willing to accept slightly diminished returns in years five and six. The Orioles have never shown a willingness under the Dan Duquette regime to make this type of commitment, but Davis is the type of power bat the team must have to keep pace with the rest of the division. Without him, the Orioles become to righty heavy in the middle of the order. A failure to re-sign Davis should spark the early stages of a minor teardown in Baltimore.