The 2013 and 2015 MLB home-run king is heading back to Baltimore.
On Saturday morning the Orioles and Chris Davis agreed to a new contract. Jon Heyman of MLB Network broke the news on Twitter.
Heyman was also the first to report that the deal between Davis and the Orioles would be for seven years and $161 million dollars. The record-breaking deal is the largest dished out by the Orioles in the franchise’s history. Adam Jones previously held that title with the contract extension he signed in 2012 – a six-year, $85.5 million dollar deal. (Davis now makes $7 million more per year than Jones).
This is a huge day for the Orioles. Not only does it fill a gap in their lineup and give their lineup a power boost, it reassures a fanbase. After the disappointing 2015 offseason and a quiet 2016 offseason to date, the contract sends a message from the Orioles to their fans. And that message is this: They mean business.
The Orioles needed to make a big effort this offseason to stay competitive in the American League East. The Yankees and Red Sox are always big spenders. Boston signed starting pitcher David Price in December and the Yankees traded four minor league players to the Reds for closer Aroldis Chapman. The Blue Jays have one of the top lineups in the Majors and won the division last season.
The Davis contract helps the Orioles stay competitive in the division. Although the O’s lineup now looks great on paper with the likes of Davis, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Jonathan Schoop, there is still more work to be done.
Out of all the units on the Orioles roster, the starting pitching has the most holes. Last season the Orioles starting pitchers finished with a 4.53 ERA, compared to their 2014 3.61 ERA. The Orioles rotation recently lost Wei Yin Chen, who signed with the Miami Marlins last week. Chen was the only Orioles starting pitcher who finished 2015 with an ERA below 4.00, so his loss will be felt if the Orioles do not improve their rotation.
Adding a decent starting pitcher will be the key to giving the Orioles a fighting chance of winning the AL East in 2016. With the Chris Davis signing, it sends a good message that the Orioles want to win the division and get back to the postseason. As Drew Forrester stated on Twitter, “[The Orioles] wanted [Davis] and got him.”