The Cardinals are interested in first baseman Chris Davis and have spoken to agent Scott Boras about the slugger since the onset of free agency, reports Jon Morosi of FOX Sports. Morosi adds that one element said to intrigue the Cardinals is the fact that Davis started games at first base, third base and in the corner outfield for Baltimore this past season.
Davis, 30 in March, is coming off a 47-homer season in which he batted .262/.361/.562 and is also the Major League leader in home runs dating back to 2012. He’d be a huge boost to a Cardinals lineup that ranked 25th in the Majors in homers and 24th in runs scored last season, though the price tag will likely be steep. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes projected a six-year, $144MM contract for Davis in his free agent profile (and picked him to land in St. Louis on MLBTR’s Top 50 list), and it’d be a surprise to me if Boras wasn’t eyeing at least a seven-year contract given Davis’ prodigious power.
The Cardinals do have a left-handed option with some power at first base in the form of Matt Adams, but a severe tear in Adams’ quadriceps sidelined him for the final four months of the 2015 campaign. And Adams, while serving as a productive hitter in his big league career to date (.276/.316/.451 in 337 games) isn’t on the same level as Davis in terms of offensive potential. A Davis signing could make Adams into a trade candidate or a bench piece that fills in at first place should Davis start at a different position on a given day.
St. Louis is exploring multiple avenues this offseason as it looks to replace not only free agents Jason Heyward and John Lackey but also right-hander Lance Lynn, who will miss the 2016 campaign due to Tommy John surgery. The Cardinals figure to be one of the most oft-speculated-about teams this winter, as they’re one of just a few clubs that is being linked to top-of-the-market position players and pitchers alike. As Morosi notes, St. Louis appears poised to spend aggressively given needs around the roster and a new television contract that will funnel in additional revenue in the near future.