The Orioles re-signing of Chris Davis was a commitment to winning. It was a signal to the fans that Peter Angelos is willing to make a major investment to improve the ball club. It was a sign of hope.
Unfortunately it’s false hope.
The Orioles successfully bid against themselves and landed a player who will do nothing to make the team better than they were in 2015. It will be more of the same old, same old.
And in the end Davis’ 7 year, $161M deal will in the not-to-distant future represent a noose around the collective neck of Dan Duquette, Buck Showalter & Co.
Yes I get that $42M of the deal is deferred and that the optimist will suggest that such a deferral will allow the team to make more moves.
Are you sure?
This is Peter Angelos we are talking about.
Maybe the deferred structure is the only one that Pete would sign off on.
But that aside, $161M later have the Orioles improved?
Most would agree that the primary goal of the offseason was to improve pitching and team speed. After all the Orioles for years have been a very one-dimensional team that is heavily dependent upon long flies to be successful. They don’t steal, advance runners or even remotely play small ball.
And their formula for winning fails when it counts the most in October.
When the colder weather sets in and the ball doesn’t fly as far through the autumn air; when the pitching is more intense; when the best teams in baseball compress their rotation to their top three starters; when teams’ scouting reports are as thorough as ever, detailing the weaknesses of opponents – exposing the holes in Chris Davis’ swing.
It’s then that the Orioles will be reminded of their bad investment in Davis.
There’s little doubt that when he heats up Davis can carry a club. Yet you have to wonder if the Orioles are paying Davis for what he’s done and not what we can expect from him going forward.
When the Orioles take the field in April Davis will be 30 years old. He’ll be 37 when the contract concludes. Is it reasonable to expect Davis to produce like he did in 2013 and 2015 throughout the duration of his contract? And even if he does it doesn’t necessarily translate into team wins. When he hit 53 bombs in 2013 the Orioles finished 3rd. Last season when he went yard 47 times they finished at .500.
But when Davis struggled in 2014 finishing with a .196 batting average, 26 home runs and 72 RBI, AND on the shelf from mid-September through the balance of the season due to a 25-game suspension stemming from the improper use of Adderall, the Orioles had their best season since 1997, winning the AL East with 96 wins and advancing to the ALCS.
It’s nice to see that Mr. Angelos still has a pulse and that he dusted off his checkbook.
But the investment is all wrong. The money should have been spent on other players.
Remember how Pete kept his wallet hidden for a long time following the Albert Belle signing?
This Davis contract should scare you. It could cost them Adam and/or Manny down the road.
It did NOTHING to improve the Orioles.
Coincidentally the signing took place on the anniversary of another significant Orioles acquisition of another Davis – Glenn Davis.
And in the end it could be just as costly.