Chris Davis has re-signed with the Baltimore Orioles for seven years. He will receive an average annual salary of $23 million and will receive a total of $161 million in the deal. Davis will become the Orioles every day 1B while also seeing some time in the DH role with Mark Trumbo. The re-signing of Davis will stabilize the Orioles lineup, and fills a hole that would’ve otherwise been filled by unproven rookie Christian Walker.
Davis is an all-star, power hitting first baseman who can also play third and the corner outfields. Despite not being a stud on defense, he can hold his own at first and offers versatility. Davis is a strong hitter who is very dangerous on both the inside and outside half of the plate, as he has shown great opposite field power. There has although been issues with Davis’ discipline as he strikes out an enormous amount of times and even led the league in strikeouts in 2015.
Chris Davis was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 amateur player draft by the Texas Rangers. Davis entered the league with a bang in 2008 at 22 years old, when he hit 17 homers in a mere 80 games with the Rangers. Unfortunately for Davis, his play faded, and became solely a depth option playing in and out of the minors. On July 30th of 2011, the Rangers officially gave up on him deciding to package him to the Baltimore Orioles for finesse closer Koji Uehara. This trade was a big mistake for the Rangers.
Davis, who turns 30 in March, has been a homerun machine since joining the Orioles in 2011. Since 2012, he has hit 159 homeruns, which is an average of 40 every year. He had a career season in 2013 in which he hit a career high 53 dingers, which was good enough for best in the league, and batted .289. Yet in 2014, Davis’ play was not nearly as good, hitting only 26 home runs and batting below .200 (.196), and was even a non-tender candidate going into the 2015 season. In the end the Orioles decided to tender him, and did not regret it as he bounced back in 2015, and regained the homerun title hitting 47 of them.
Davis has shown amazing raw power with his bat, but has also shown signs inconsistency throughout his career. This seven-year mega contract is definitely a risky play for the Orioles, who hope to compete in a competitive AL East in 2016. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’ll be keeping my eye on Davis for the next couple years. Will he be the power house he has shown he can be in 2013 and 2015? Or will he be the below average first baseman we saw in 2014?