Report: Chris Davis Returning to Baltimore

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, Chris Davis has agreed to terms with the Baltimore Orioles and will re-sign. The agreement ends a lengthy negotiating process that began at the Winter Meetings in Nashville in December.

Davis had balked at the club’s initial offer of seven years and $154 million, preferring to wait out the market. It was widely reported that the Orioles pulled that offer from the table but were willing to keep an open dialogue with Davis’ agent, Scott Boras. This week, the Orioles made an offer to free-agent outfielder, reportedly in the five-year, $90 million range. That offer may have prompted Davis to reconsider his stance on re-signing with the Orioles.

Holding out longer appears to have helped Davis in the end. Heyman reports the deal is for seven years and $161 million. This is the first $100 million-plus contract ever handed out by the Orioles.

While it appears the Orioles were likely bidding against themselves for Davis, adding an extra $1 million per year to get the deal done does not seem like a gross misappropriation of funds. The final structure and breakdown of the deal have not been revealed at this time.

With Davis, the reigning AL home run champ, back in the fold, the Orioles retain a much-needed left-handed power bat. How the front office and ownership plan to proceed with the remainder of the offseason remains to be seen. Will the offer to Cespedes still stand?

It is conceivable the team could still have money available to sign Cespedes if they so desire. Payroll could approach $140 million if Cespedes is signed, but Matt Wieters and his $15.8 million salary for 2016 are a one-time sunk cost. The Orioles could also look to add a mid-tier starting pitcher like Yovani Gallard or Doug Fister, although if the front office is looking to spend big money again this winter, Cespedes would provide the most impact.

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