I read with interest a post by Maria (She Talks Baseball) that she titled “We Wish You A Merry Chris – Mas” and it got me thinking. Dan Duquette has been around the baseball block a number of times……..he is not stupid. And yet, he has reportedly put a seven year deal worth $150 million on the table for Scott Boras and Chris Davis to either accept or reject…..and it does not appear to be a “Limited Time Only” offer. Like, Duquette really wants this guy. I wondered why given the other needs the Orioles have ……
Okay, let’s start with the man in question. Chris Davis is no doubt a strapping athletic marvel of a man who is destined to hit 45-50 home runs a year for however long he chooses to play. Fine, but when you break it down he strikes out at a rate of once every three plate appearances while hitting in the middle of the Orioles lineup. So yes, he’ll juice one more often than most but is that worth all that $$$ to a team struggling to compete in a very competitive division? Moreover, he batted only .255 last year and coupled that with a very respectable on-base percentage……but again…….can the Orioles afford a all or nothing player at this juncture…..
Why not, for example, make an effort to lock up Manny Machado – the “other Baltimore franchise player (presumably) for far less than $150 million for a few more years beyond 2017….and still have money remaining to sign a sorely needed starting pitcher (or two) even if they are a “rental”.
Buck Showwalter will make due with whatever talent he is given. He is an amazingly talented manager who has proven so wherever he has landed in his career. Granted, Duquette is more likely to be looking to please ownership and a portion of the fan base with a player who will (as George Steinbrenner so eloquently said “put asses in the seats”, Baltimore’s fans deserve more.
For the Dodgers, the Yankees, etc – $150 million may be chump change and a eventual tax write off. Not so much though for a team like the Orioles. This is a critical component and decision that will establish a new stake in the ground determining much of the near future for the Orioles and their fans…..