At an annual fan event, Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette confirmed the club has pulled its $150MM offer to Chris Davis, tweets Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Talks have not been terminated, but Duquette implied it would be up to Davis’ agent Scott Boras to revisit negotiations. Duquette also stated that Davis has not been involved in the process – all talks have gone through Boras (this is typical but worth noting). For his part, Boras says he has been given no indication that talks are closed, per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (tweet).
Here’s the latest from the O’s including more information via Kubatko from their fan event.
- Duquette also commented on Jason Heyward’s contract structure (tweet). With regard to Heyward’s two opt-outs, “That kind of structure wouldn’t work for the Orioles.” While long-term contracts with opt-outs are becoming more popular as a means to keep average annual value in check, some teams may not be comfortable accepting the back-end risk if a player implodes unexpectedly.
- Also per Kubatko (tweet), Duquette will use some of the money budgeted for Davis on other players. However, the club probably will not spend all of it this winter. To me, that seems to rule out a pursuit of Justin Upton or Alex Gordon.
- If talks with Davis fall through, the O’s may turn their attention to Pedro Alvarez, tweets CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. Alvarez offers many of the same characteristics as Davis, but with less defensive versatility. His left-handed power bat would be a good fit for the AL East. Camden Yards and Yankee Stadium are two of the best parks for left-handed home runs. The Brewers are also in on Alvarez.
- Orioles free agent Steve Pearce is “under consideration,” per Duquette (tweet). Entering his age 33 season, Pearce has compiled 5.6 career WAR over parts of nine campaigns. However, 4.9 of those wins were earned in his excellent 2014 season. He declined dramatically in 2015 over a similar number of plate appearances. He did fill a useful utility role by playing at first, second, and both corner outfields last season.
- Meanwhile, VP of baseball operations Brady Anderson is disappointed that Davis and reliever Darren O’Day reached free agency, writes Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com. “When you have him [O’Day], he makes it look so easy, you forget how hard it is and it can cost you millions of dollars. In Darren’s case, that is what happened. In Chris Davis’ case, the same thing is happening.” Anderson notes that small- and mid-market clubs have to be more successful in signing players to long term extensions.