Free-agent signings and trades have marked this busy MLB offseason so far but there are still a few big bats waiting to be signed. Despite the level of productivity from some of the hitters still on the market, there haven’t been many teams linked to them due to their astronomical asking prices. The patience on the part of the player and his agent as well as interested organizations is being tested as the New Year is just around the corner.
Chris Davis is one of those aforementioned sluggers whose market hasn’t developed and has appeared almost inactive, especially considering he led the majors in home runs (47) and raked in the third-most RBI (117) in 2015.
The market for Davis hasn’t been entirely absent but the only real offer came from Baltimore, where Davis has been since 2011. The Blue Jays and Red Sox—two AL East rivals—have been linked to interest in Davis but the only clear pursuit has been from the Orioles. The Cardinals and Angels have also reportedly shown interest in Davis but there has been no indication that a firm offer has been made.
The Orioles offered Davis upwards of $150 million over seven years but the left-hander turned it down, apparently holding out for more money, causing Baltimore general manager Dan Duquette to pull the deal off the table. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, Davis is seeking an offer in the eight-year $200 million range, which could explain why the market hasn’t fully developed for the first baseman’s services.
Davis, represented by super-agent Scott Boras, may not be in a hurry to sign a deal this winter. It was only three years ago when Prince Fielder, also represented by Boras, didn’t sign his nine-year, $214 million contract with Detroit until late January.
For the time being, Baltimore continues to be the favorite to land Davis by default, if not for the reason that Boras says the two sides are still in talks. It feels like Davis has Baltimore’s original offer in his back pocket and could wind up there, although whether he and Boras bring their price down or Baltimore increases their budget remains to be seen.
Still, don’t count out the other teams no matter how vague their interest may seem. After all, the Tigers weren’t the favorites to land Fielder in 2012—the longer this goes, the more time a team has to pony up the kind of astronomical dollars we’ve grown accustomed to seeing doled out this offseason.