10:07am: ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that the Orioles didn’t raise their most recent offer to Davis — “not one nickel,” as his source put it. Not only that, but Baltimore’s offer to Davis is no longer on the table, according to Olney, though he adds that they’re willing to pick up the past thread of talks. MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko tweets that a club source denies their offer was increased as well.
DEC. 10, 8:40am: Baltimore has reportedly increased its offer to Davis, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who hears they may be willing to go as high as $168MM over seven years — a $24MM average annual value. It’s uncertain whether or not the previously reported deferrals are still included in the revamped offer.
It was reported last night that Davis is seeking as much as $200MM over an eight-year term.
DEC. 9: Baltimore’s previously-reported offer of around $150MM was for seven years, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports on Twitter. The O’s are “currently not willing” to exceed a $22MM average annual value to Davis, Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports on Twitter. The Orioles’ offer may also have some deferred money involved, per Kubatko.
As was recently reported, the team may not be willing to wait forever for Davis to decide and is pursuing other options as well.
DEC. 8: Orioles owner Peter Angelos and executive VP Dan Duquette have made their desire to retain Chris Davis abundantly clear, and Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com sheds some light on just how serious they are in their quest to retain Davis, tweeting that the Orioles offered their former first baseman “in the neighborhood” of $150MM at today’s previously reported meeting with agent Scott Boras. Despite the sizable nature of that offer, talks between the two sides have yet to progress, Kubatko adds.
The reported offer is a staggering number from an Orioles organization that has never given out a contract larger than the six-year, $86.5MM contract signed by Adam Jones back in 2012. Of course, it’s not known how long the term of that contract is, and the differences between a six-year, $150MM offer and a seven- or eight-year $150MM offer are considerable from the perspective of Davis and Boras.
The 29-year-old Davis is the top power bat on the open market, as he leads the Majors in homers over the past three seasons. He’s also considered to be a plus defender at first base, and ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick recently wrote that some scouts consider him athletic enough to play a competent, albeit below-average corner outfield for a season or two should a team need to play him there in order to wait for a spot at first base to open up.
Given Boras’ history with top-tier free agents, it’s perhaps not surprising to see Davis pass on an early offer of that magnitude. Nevertheless, the offer does seem to demonstrate legitimate interest on Baltimore’s behalf, when at the onset of the 2015-16 offseason, most believed that the team did not possess the financial flexibility to keep Davis in Maryland. That line of thinking was strengthened when Matt Wieters accepted a qualifying offer and when the Orioles struck a four-year, $31MM agreement to retain setup ace Darren O’Day.
In spite of those costly contracts, the Orioles seem to be firmly in the thick of the still-developing market for Davis. The Cardinals have also been linked to Davis, and the Red Sox are said to have had internal discussions about him as well (though they’d first need to move Hanley Ramirez). ESPN’s Buster Olney also reported last month that the Giants have interest in Davis.