Return on Investment: Chris Davis

I recently wrote about the early production that Mark Trumbo has provided to the Baltimore Orioles since he was traded to the club this past offseason. (link)

Sticking with that theme, I will continue looking at the five big moves the O’s made this past winter over the next few days.

Next up, Chris Davis.

 

Signing Review: Davis re-signs with the Orioles on a 7-year, $161M contract

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Photo by Greg Fiume / Getty Images

RoI: Re-signing Chris Davis certainly came at a big price.

All original reports surrounding Davis entering negotiations were that he and agent Scott Boras were looking for $175M or more. However, when Davis didn’t get near the attention he though he would, Baltimore practically became his only option.

On the plus side for the O’s, they re-signed the 2013 Silver Slugger Award winner, who has led the majors in home runs in two out of the last three seasons. On the other hand, however, they may have overpaid.

When talks between the two sides got serious, it was reported that the Orioles weren’t going to go above $150 million. Obviously, though, the front office came up with the extra cash – $11 million worth – in order to get a deal done.

The deal may look daunting, but with $42 million deferred to be paid for the 10 years after the contract expires, it doesn’t handicap the Orioles now as much as one might think.

Transitioning from business meetings and contract talks to playing on the field, Davis has produced at a good rate thus far.

His 25 runs batted in and nine home runs are second and third, respectively, on the team, and his .254 batting average is respectable and right on track with his career average. Davis’ on-base and slugging percentages are also amongst the team leaders, as expected.

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Photo by Kenneth Lam / Baltimore Sun

Maybe just as importantly, though, especially on a Buck Showalter-led team, is his defense.

Davis is likely one of the more underrated defensive first basemen in baseball.

His 6’3” frame gives his fellow infielders a big target, but it also gives him more than enough range when he needs to quickly dive for a ball at first.

Obviously it is still relatively early in the season, but thus far Davis is honoring his contract.

He’s on pace to hit 43 home runs and drive in well-over 100 runs.

As long as he can sustain the good start for the rest of 2016…and for the next six years after this season, Baltimore fans will certainly say they got what the team paid for.

 

 

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