Then among the most threatening sluggers in baseball, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis re-signed with the team on a seven-year, $161MM contract prior to the 2016 campaign. Davis was coming off a 47-home run, 5.4-fWAR season at the time, but his output has tanked since he signed his contract. The lefty swinger was stunningly unproductive from 2018-19 – an 854-plate appearance run in which he hit .172/.256/.308 with 28 HRs. Davis easily ranked last in the majors in fWAR in the process, accounting for minus-4.5.
The 33-year-old Davis, cognizant of how far he has fallen with the Orioles, admitted Monday (via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) that he recently considered retiring. “I’d be lying if I told you that wasn’t at least talked about toward the end of the season last year and this offseason,” he said. “I know what I’m capable of. I know what I expect of myself and I don’t want to continue to just struggle and be a below-average, well below-average producer at the plate. And I don’t think that’s fair to these guys. And I don’t think, honestly, it’s fair to our fans, or to anybody that’s associated with Baltimore.”
For now, Davis is hanging around and hoping for a better showing in 2020. If that doesn’t occur, though, it’ll be interesting to see if he walks away or the Orioles cut him. The soon-to-be 34-year-old still has another $69MM left on his contract (including deferrals), so an early breakup wouldn’t be easy for either side.
- Speaking of uncertain futures, Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is going into the last season of his own lucrative the deal – the seven-year, $130MM contract he inked with the club before the 2014 campaign. It could prove to be the final season in the majors for the 37-year-old, who hasn’t decided whether to play in 2021, per Jeff Wilson of the Star-Telegram. If Choo does elect to play past this year, though, he’d like to remain a Ranger, according to Wilson. Overall, the gamble the Rangers took on Choo in free agency hasn’t necessarily worked out as planned, but he remains a solid offensive player and an on-base machine. Choo slashed .265/.371/.455 with 24 home runs and 15 stolen bases in 660 trips to the plate last season.
- Tigers left-hander Joey Wentz halted his live bullpen session Monday as a result of forearm soreness, Chris McCosky of the Detroit News writes. Wentz brushed it off as fatigue, though it could still be worth monitoring going forward. After all, Wentz is one of the most promising arms in the Tigers’ system. The 22-year-old joined the organization last July in a trade with the Braves centering on reliever Shane Greene. Wentz then finished the season in dominant fashion as a member of the Tigers’ Double-A team, with which he pitched to a 2.10 ERA and put up 13.0 K/9 against 1.4 BB/9 across 25 2/3 innings.