It’s no secret that the Chris Davis saga has gotten old and no surprise that the Orioles have had it with Scott Boras and company.
It's believed the #Orioles are willing to go to five years and the $75-90M range to sign Yoenis Cespedes.
— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 15, 2016
It’s too early to tell whether Cespedes finds the offer appealing, but it’s a tell-tale sign that Baltimore’s front office is ready to part ways with Davis.
Davis has been a fan favorite and has incredible power, but Cespedes is coming off of an MVP-caliber season and would complete the Orioles’ outfield. Cespedes would join Adam Jones and Hyun-soo Kim, which would give the team a much improved outfield from last season.
Cespedes would also pick up Davis’ power, as the former Athletic, Tiger, Red Sox, & Met swatted a career-high 35 home runs last season. It also doesn’t hurt that Cespedes has one of the best arms in baseball.
Another aspect to look at is the money the Orioles could save by signing Cespedes instead of Davis. Crush’s deal would give him close to $21.5M a year, while the proposed range for Cespedes would give him around $17M a year. Cespedes’ deal would also be less of a commitment – both financially and in terms of years – for the Orioles.
A mark in Cespedes’ favor over another oft-mentioned free agent outfielder, Justin Upton, is that Cespedes is not tied to draft pick compensation, as Upton is.
This could also allow the team to use some of the saved money that would have went to Davis on a pitcher, perhaps Yovani Gallardo. He would cost the team’s first-round pick, but could be worth it since the Orioles are still in win-now mode.
It would have been nice to have Davis back in Baltimore, but re-signing him would have essentially given the Orioles the same team from last year, minus Wei-Yin Chen.
Earlier this offseason, MLB Trade Rumors predicted Cespedes to receive a deal in the range of six years, $140 million, so it is unclear at this point if he is ready to accept a substantially smaller offer such as the one the Orioles are reportedly offering.
Still, the future would look brighter with the additions of Cespedes and Gallardo.