10.) Dan Duquette and the Baltimore Orioles
Duquette and the Orioles went to Nashville with one order of business — re-sign Chris Davis. The Orioles made the free-agent slugger their best offer, thought to be seven years and at least $150 million. While we may never know the exact total that was on the table for Davis (there are reports that had the Orioles offering $168 million, but Duquette said the offer was not increased from the initially reported figure of $150 million), but one thing is clear. The offer is no longer on the table.
This may not seem like a win for the Orioles, but it should be viewed as such. The team made a very reasonable offer to Davis and Scott Boras, but were met with unreasonable demands. If Davis wants eight years, it is best for the Orioles to walk away and offer the money to a younger free agent like Justin Upton, whose agent the team met with later in the week. In an ideal world, Davis would not even get seven years, but six. The market dictates he has to get at least seven, and possibly eight. The Orioles will win out in the long run if they can avoid signing Davis for almost a decade.
While there are still no guarantees that the Orioles will be able to land a big-name bat to replace Davis, their offer to him shows a willingness to be very aggressive and blow past the $100 million mark, something never done in franchise history. Baltimore showed it has the funds to sign Upton, and can put him in a ballpark well suited to his game. There’s also still a chance Davis returns to the negotiating table having realized the market for his services is more limited than he initially imagined. Either way, the Orioles stood their ground, and should be able to benefit in the long run, with or without Davis.