Chris Davis has been one of the league's top home run hitters since joining the Baltimore Orioles in 2011. Since 2012, the Texas Slugger has hit 159 home runs, eclipsing 45+ home runs twice - 53 in 2012 and 47 in 2015 - leading the league in both seasons.
Those numbers are part of the reason why the Orioles offered him a seven-year $161 million dollar deal, the richest contract in franchise history.
This is the first time in a long time the Orioles have spent big money on a player. Usually in these situations, the Orioles are the ones that are left for a larger bidder, even though that could have happened in this situation. The O’s first offered Davis a $150 million dollar contract and he didn’t budge at, which worried Birdland that another premier player would be leaving Baltimore.
During the press conference, Scott Boras, did not go into detail about who were the other bidders, saying "You don't go to your wedding talking about your girlfriends."
Even though this deal is large, Davis won’t receive all the money in the seven year span. $42 million will be stashed away for Davis as deferred money until he is 51 - not a bad retirement plan - while recieving $23 million a year, $6 million of which will go into his “retirement plan”
To say that Davis deserves this contract is an understatement. He is a big reason why the Orioles have become contenders in the American League, ending 15 years of losing. In 2013 he led the league in home runs and RBIs, almost being named American League MVP, second to Miguel Cabrera. He has become a fan favorite, another reason why Dan Duqette and owner Peter Angelos could not let him leave Camden Yards.
The question now is can Davis live up to this deal. Despite his great numbers, it’s not a sure thing that he will
In 2014, during the O’s AL East pennant run, Davis was the weak link in the chain, batting .196 for the season. He did hit 26 home runs, his lowest since joining the O’s, but he was batting .226 with RISP(2-outs) and .156 when the game was tied.
And the most disappointing part of his season was his 25-game suspension, which forced him to missed the playoffs.
Of course he emerged in 2015, elevating his batting average to .262 and driving in 117 runs. We all can agree that without that great showing from Davis last season, his deal may not have came close to $100 million and his days in Baltimore were finished.
Davis answered the call but the Orioles missed the playoffs. The O’s missing the postseason was not because of Davis, but from here on out, I do expect Davis to be the reason why the O’s make it to the postseason. Davis 2015 season saved his big contract but he still has to earn his money in the postseason, especially after missing 2014 postseason with non-injury related reasons
Davis has only seen postseason baseball one time in career, and it wasn't pretty. He batted .208 with 0 HRs 2 RBIs, and 9 strikeouts in 24 at-bats. In his defense, majority of the lineup struggled in 2012 as well.
In the grand scheme of it all, the O’s made the right decision; they invested into a fan favorite and a great ball player. Consistency will be the biggest concern and clutch hits will be the most important stat.