Tag: Chris Davis

Davis Becomes 1st AL Player with Consecutive 200-Strikeout Seasons

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis struck out for the 200th and 201st times of the season in Friday’s 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, becoming the first player in American League history to record back-to-back seasons with 200 or more strikeouts, per Sportsnet Stats.

Despite setting the unwanted record, Davis still managed to have a decent night, as his solo home run in the fourth inning cut Tampa Bay’s early lead to 4-2.

However, he missed out on a big opportunity in the bottom of the seventh, striking out with two outs and the bases loaded while his team was still down by a run.

The Orioles managed to emerge victorious, keeping pace with the division-leading Boston Red Sox at two games back in the American League East.

Davis isn’t the first player to strike out 200 or more times in back-to-back seasons, as Mark Reynolds accomplished that feat in 2008 (204), 2009 (223) and 2010 (211) while playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Davis is within striking distance of Reynolds’ single-season record of 223 strikeouts. He is on pace to finish just one shy at 222, which would tie him for the American League record set by Adam Dunn for the Chicago White Sox in 2012.

Even with all the strikeouts, Davis has been a huge part of the Orioles’ playoff push, recording 38 home runs, 82 RBI and 94 runs in 142 games, with his 82 walks helping to make up for an unsightly .222 batting average.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chris Davis Re-Signs with Orioles: Key Takeaways from Star’s Press Conference

Chris Davis met with reporters Thursday for the first time since signing the richest deal in Baltimore Orioles history, per the Associated Press’ David Ginsburg.

After back-and-forth negotiations eventually led to a standstill ahead of the winter meetings, Davis and Baltimore finally reached a seven-year, $161 million pact Saturday, which became official Thursday following a medical examination.

Yet the two-time American League home run king said he welcomes the added pressure of living up to the lofty financial figures, per Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com:

The Orioles initially offered Davis a seven-year, $150 million deal in December but pulled back after the first baseman sought more money, according to Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine.

Davis admitted Thursday that the ongoing negotiations left him more anxious than he’d anticipated, per Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com:

Davis and the Orioles then began seeking other options, and the first baseman had been linked to discussions with the Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, who was then writing for CBS Sports.

Agent Scott Boras flew to Baltimore and met with Orioles owner Peter Angelos and general manager Dan Duquette, which proved to be the breaking point, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun and Ghiroli:

Duquette acknowledged the urgency of re-signing the 2013 All-Star on Thursday, per Encina:

Boras, well-known for pushing his clients to hit free agency and seek the highest dollar figures over all else, was at Davis’ press conference Thursday but wouldn’t elaborate on other offers the first baseman fielded, per Ghiroli:

While it was a celebratory evening at Camden Yards, Nick Shlain of Baseball Prospectus made a valid point in questioning why Davis, who has been with the Orioles for five years, donned a jersey during the press conference:

Davis hopes that the clubhouse environment and established roster will help bring other top free agents to Baltimore in the coming years, per Encina:

While Davis led the AL in home runs in two of the past three years, his 2014 campaign saw him stumble to a .196 batting average, and the team left him off its playoff roster after MLB suspended him for testing positive for Adderall.

While Davis probably squeaked out more than he is worth, the Orioles didn’t want to leave a gaping power void in the middle of their lineup as they hope to improve on last year’s .500 campaign.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Chris Davis’ $161M Megadeal Is Risk Orioles Had to Take

More than two months into the offseason, Chris Davis got his payday. The Baltimore Orioles got an impact hitter. And the battle for supremacy in the American League East got even more interesting.

On Saturday, Davis inked a seven-year, $161 million pact with Baltimore, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The deal ended a protracted standoff between Davis and the O’s and took a premium bat off the market, possibly setting the stage for the Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton dominoes to fall soon.

More than anything, though, the takeaway is that Baltimore kept baseball’s reigning home run leader in the fold. That’s a big deal.

Oh, this contract—the largest in franchise history by a long shot—is a risk, as we’ll get into shortly. But as they attempt to flutter back to the top of a highly competitive division, it’s a risk the Orioles had to take.

First, the good news: Davis is coming off a monster season in which he clubbed 47 home runs, racked up 117 RBI and posted a .923 OPS. In this power-starved era, that’s a stat line worth savoring.

“For a guy like this to hit the market, it’s just an opportunity teams don’t get: a 29-year-old player who has 40-plus home run power, and he’s already hit 50 home runs,” Davis’ agent, Scott Boras, said in November, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick.

Boras was talking up his client, obviously. He also wasn’t wrong.

Baltimore made other additions this winter, including Mark Trumbo and Korean outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim, but Davis is the difference-maker.

The Boston Red Sox are aggressively retooling under president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski. The New York Yankees, a wild-card team last year, have upgraded at second base and added Aroldis Chapman to an already-deadly bullpen.

The Toronto Blue Jays, despite losing David Price to Boston, are the defending AL East champs and still loaded with bats. Assuming they keep their starting rotation intact, the Tampa Bay Rays could be in the picture as well.

Really, this might be baseball’s most balanced division, with no odds-on favorite and no obvious doormat.

That meant the Orioles couldn’t afford to be complacent. They won the division and advanced to the American League Championship Series in 2014 but slid back to a disappointing 81-81 last year. Further regression loomed if they had let Davis slip away and didn’t add any more significant pieces.

OK, now about that risk. First, there’s the obvious issues associated with any long-term deal. Davis turns 30 in March, meaning this contract—which doesn’t feature an opt-out, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthalwill carry him through his age-36 season. 

Davis is an excellent athlete who can play the corner outfield spots as well as a capable first base—and even pitched a pair of scoreless innings in 2012. But the list of hitters who avoided decline as their 30s progressed is a short one.

Then there’s the matter of Davis’ troubling 2014 season, wherein he hit a paltry .196 and was slapped with a 25-game amphetamine suspension. His huge 2015 bounce-back erased most of the fears about his production. And Davis had a therapeutic use exemption for the ADHD drug Adderall, which triggered the suspension, per USA Today (via the Associated Press).

Still, those are resume blemishes that can’t be ignored.

Davis also strikes out—a lot. In fact, he led the game in whiffs last year with 208. That’s not considered as big of an issue in today’s game as it used to be, but it’s worth noting.

On balance, though, this was the right move for Baltimore. Add budding superstar Manny Machado and All-Star center fielder Adam Jones, and the Orioles have an enviable, locked-in offensive core.

They’ve also got more work to do, as Rosenthal outlined:

The O’s still need starting pitching, need it badly. Otherwise, Davis will be nothing more than an ornate showpiece, a freak-show, home-run hitting attraction at Camden Yards.

The Orioles’ rotation ERA increased from 3.61 in 2014 to 4.53 last season, and that was with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen as the team’s top starter; he since has signed with the Marlins. 

There are options, including right-hander Yovani Gallardo, whose name has been “floating around” all winter, according to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun.

Whether the Orioles are willing to part with the cash and draft pick it’d cost to land Gallardo remains to be seen. But this is an obvious area of need, and the options are dwindling.

For now, however, Baltimore fans can exhale. Davis comes with baggage. And like any massive contract, this one’s fraught with possible pitfalls. But when you get a chance to retain a guy with relative youth and game-changing pop, you pounce.

The Orioles pounced. Davis got paid. Now, we can all sit back and watch what promises to be a top-to-bottom dogfight in the AL East.

Is it spring yet?


All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Updating the Hottest Questions of the 2015-16 MLB Offseason, Week 10

Another week. Another round of questions about Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis and Justin Upton—baseball’s unfortunate free-agent trio.

As Week 10 of the 2015-16 MLB offseason draws to a close, the future remains murky for those prime-time mashers who are still hanging out in a winter purgatory. The good news for one of those guys (and the bad news for another) is that there’s a new five-year offer to report.

There’s also room in the conversation for talk about yet another impact outfielder, whose name just keeps popping up in the trade rumor mill. Plus, with arbitration hearing looming on the horizon, some All-Stars, Cy Youngs and even an MVP are set to cash in.

Begin Slideshow

Updating the Hottest Questions of the 2015-2016 MLB Offseason, Week 9

The glacial market for bats is slowly beginning to thaw, which means the long winter wait for Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis and Justin Upton should soon draw to an end as Week 9 of the 2015-2016 MLB offseason comes to a close.

While those unemployed sluggers dominate the conversation, there’s also room for some talk about a retired masher and a former ace whose Hall of Fame credentials are in the headlines.

Plus, an important question has popped up in Southern California following the latest executive addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ All-Star front office.

Begin Slideshow

Post-New Year Predictions for the Rest of the MLB Offseason

Yoenis Cespedes, Chris Davis, Alex Gordon and Justin Upton have historically bad luck.

As Joel Sherman of the New York Post sees it, the market for free-agent game-changers has never developed at a slower pace.

“Never has there been this many talented free agents unsigned this late into the offseason.”

While those unfortunate and unemployed stars wait to find out where they’ll be playing in 2016, let’s play a game of offseason musical chairs and predict where everyone will end up when the music stops.

Free-agent hitters dominate the conversation, but there’s also room on the list for a prediction about one trade target who smashed 40 home runs during the season that was.

Begin Slideshow

Updating the Hottest Questions of the 2015-16 MLB Offseason, Week 7

It’s already Week 7 of the 2015-16 MLB offseason, and Clayton Kershaw still needs a sidekick.

From figuring out who will be backing up baseball’s nastiest starter at Dodger Stadium to trying to explain why so many prominent free-agent bats remain unsigned, there are all sorts of questions to ponder as 2016 inches ever closer.

There’s room in this week’s conversation for talk about whether one of the game’s most underrated bullpen aces could be on the move. But first, let’s get back to Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ work-in-progress rotation.


Who Will Be the No. 2 Starter at Chavez Ravine?

The Jose Fernandez trade talk just won’t go away.

And the Miami Marlins aren’t exactly quashing the noise:

According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, the door remains slightly ajar when it comes to the Dodgers and Fernandez:

But based on the Marlins’ staggering reported asking price, the key phrase is likely “no deal close.” Back during the winter meetings, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com explained that the Fish wanted Julio Urias, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson and two more players in exchange for the electric Cuban.

For the Marlins, there’s no harm in asking. But that’s the kind of exorbitant demand that would lead Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to hang up the phone and hang up fast.

Lyle Spencer of MLB.com suggested that Friedman should give Billy Beane a ring as he searches for that second ace:

Gray doesn’t generate the same buzz as Fernandez, but the diminutive righty is a rising star in his own right. In 2015, the starter landed third in the American League Cy Young Award voting. And Beane, the Oakland Athletics’ executive vice president of baseball operations, is in no rush to cash in on Gray.

“It’s a fair question,” Beane said, when asked by Joe Stiglich of CSN California about the topic of trading Gray. “And you could imagine how many people, at least early in the winter, were inquiring on him. We were pretty aggressively returning those calls and saying it wasn’t something we were gonna consider. That’s our stance now.”

So where could the Dodgers turn with Fernandez and Gray looking like virtual no-go’s?

Jake Odorizzi is one guy to watch out for. Per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Los Angeles has already checked in with the Tampa Bay Rays about the starter, who turns 26 in March.

Odorizzi doesn’t have nearly the same national profile as Fernandez or even Gray, but there’s still a lot to like about his arm. Last year, the starter was eighth in the AL with a 3.35 ERA. Thanks to his contract situation, he could also be a Dodger for the foreseeable future, as he remains under team control through the 2020 season.

The Answer: Odorizzi


What the Heck Is Going on with the Free-Agent Market for Bats?

The market for top-of-the-line position players has been moving about as fast as a glacier.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports provided the cold hard numbers: “Only two free-agent position players have signed multiyear contracts this offseason for more than $20 million guaranteed—outfielder Jason Heyward and infielder Ben Zobrist.”

Surveying the remaining class of bats, here’s the list of guys who should have already cleared that relatively low bar:

Davis is the outlier here, as the masher could have already landed a new gig if he had wanted to. As Heyman noted, the Baltimore Orioles “pulled” a seven-year, $154 million offer after Crush Davis and his agent Scott Boras took too long thinking about it.

The slow play is classic Boras, as the super-agent is well-known for his strategy of waiting out the market before securing a megadeal seemingly out of nowhere at the last moment.

But when it comes to the nearly nonexistent market for Cespedes, Upton and Gordon, it’s much more difficult to explain just what’s going on.

Cespedes cracked 35 home runs last year, and so far he doesn’t have a single reported offer.

Noah Syndergaard would like to see the New York Mets make an offer.

“Of course we’re hoping [that he’ll be back],” Syndergaard said, per Dan Martin of the New York Post. “We all saw the tear he went on from July through the end of the season. We’d love to have that bat back in the lineup, so as long as he’s out there, we’re hoping for that.”

But Joel Sherman of the Post was quick to dash those hopes:

As long as Cespedes remains on the block, Upton could be in a bind. Like La Potencia, Upton is a slugger best suited for left field. But last year, Cespedes trumped Upton in WAR, average, slugging percentage, OPS, home runs and RBI, per FanGraphs.

And then there’s Gordon. Unlike Cespedes and Upton, at least the longtime Kansas City Royal has drawn some concrete interest, per Heyman, from clubs like the Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants. Rosenthal also added the Chicago White Sox to that list.

That’s a good start for Gordon.

The problem is that he’s not just competing for a job with all those other corner guys on the free-agent front. He’s also competing with star trade pieces like Carlos Gonzalez. According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, CarGo—he of 40 home runs in 2015—is available in a swap.

Simply put, the free-agent and trade marketplaces are flush with talent. And word in the industry is that there are more than a few clubs who have no interest in writing any big checks.

That’s a bad look for the game, and even worse news for the players.

The Answer: Thanks in Part to Tanking, Supply is Exceeding Demand


Will the Pittsburgh Pirates Sell High on Mark Melancon?

Neal Huntington, the understated general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, never wins the offseason.

But the clubs that he constructs have a knack for racking up wins during the regular season, as the Bucs have tallied at least 88 Ws in each of the past three campaigns.

The trick is Huntington is always thinking one step ahead and making moves that keep the roster deep yet cost-controlled. With the unheralded Mark Melancon hanging in the trade winds, just such a move could be on tap for the National League Central squad.

“We’ve never had to trade Mark,” Huntington said, per Adam Berry of MLB.com. “It’s always been [a question of] if we’re better with him with us, or if we think it’s a better move for the organization to move him elsewhere, and that still applies.”

That sounds like Huntington is daring rival execs to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

And why shouldn’t he? Melancon, who was eighth in Senior Circuit Cy Young voting in 2015, can become a free agent at the end of next season. The right-hander has put himself on track to score a monster haul next winter.

As a prime candidate to receive a qualifying offer, he’s also all but certain to net the Pirates a compensation pick if he departs. Following that line of reasoning, it would be a shrewd business decision for the team to move Melancon now if the return would significantly beat the value of a comp pick.

The Answer: Not Unless the Pirates Get Overwhelmed


Note: All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

If you want to talk baseball, find me on Twitter @KarlBuscheck.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2016 MLB Free Agents: Latest Rumors on Alex Gordon, Chris Davis, Scott Kazmir

Many of the big-ticket free agents in this year’s loaded class of have found new homes before the holiday, but given a dense contingent of 139 free agents total, plenty of outliers remain. 

The pitching market has largely subsided now that blue chips Zack Greinke, David Price and Johnny Cueto have been whisked away with nine-figure deals, and Jason Heyward got the ball rolling among his fellow outfielders. 

There is still plenty of talent out there, as Christopher Kamka of CSNChicago.com noted:

Heyward‘s $184 million deal with the Chicago Cubs reportedly wasn’t his highest offer, which may have more of a ripple effect on where the bar is set among the rest of the outfield market. 

Heyward was considered the top free-agent outfielder this winter, and his deal was expected to set a new bar for his position for players like Chris Davis and Alex Gordon, among others. 

Here is a look at the latest buzz on a few high-profile names that still seek a home. 


White Sox Interested in Alex Gordon

The Chicago White Sox are interested in adding Alex Gordon and swooping him away from the incumbent Kansas City Royals, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

While a union would certainly bolster the lineup to complement slugger Jose Abreu and newly acquired third baseman Todd Frazier, the White Sox already house Avisail Garcia and Melky Cabrera in their corner-outfield spots, and have Adam LaRoche at DH. 

Gordon is expected to net a five-year deal worth at least $100 million, per Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors, which may be out of the White Sox’s price range, per Rosenthal:

However, Rosenthal indicated that should the White Sox land Gordon, they’d shuffle other personnel in order to make a financial fit:

Gordon was an All-Star in each of the last three seasons and a key cog in the Royals’ pennant runs the past two Octobers as the team’s defensive catalyst. 

By adding multifaceted Gordon, the White Sox would not only bolster their starting lineup, but also pry away one of the primary contributors of a team within their division that by all signs will contend again in 2016. 


Orioles, Chris Davis Continue to Talk After Offer Pulled

Contract negotiations between the Baltimore Orioles and slugging first baseman Chris Davis reached a breaking point when the team pulled a seven-year, $150 million offer earlier this month, according to Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine

Both parties contrast in what they believe is an appropriate offer, though Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports dialogue remains ongoing between Davis’ agent Scott Boras and Orioles owner Peter Angelos:

Boras‘ claim is that the $22 million yearly figure is about what was paid to Jacoby Ellsbury, exactly what was paid to Hanley Ramirez and less than Jason Heyward got. And none of those players slugs like Davis.

While Orioles people are investigating other possibilities, it seems likely that to this point Angelos hasn’t given the go-ahead to sign someone to truly replace Davis.

However, Olney reported the team is seeking other options, albeit at a different position, to fill Davis’ potential power void in the lineup:

Davis led the majors in home runs two of the last three years but has been a notoriously streaky hitter, best shown by his .196/.300/.404 slash line in 2014 when he played 127 games. 

Because he packs the punch from the plate and today’s market is insanely inflated, Davis will likely land the deal he seeks. 

The Orioles missed out on the playoffs last year after reaching the ALCS the year prior, and while a void at first base may be difficult to endure, they may be better off investing elsewhere. 


Scott Kazmir Reportedly Has Plenty of Options

Now that Greinke, Price and Cueto are gone, Kazmir remains arguably the best starting pitcher on the market. 

Heyman reported Kazmir has multiple three-year offers in the $12-13 million per-year range, and Bob Nightengale of USA Today revealed who those suitors likely are: 

Rosenthal followed up that the Oakland A’s—with whom Kazmir pitched in 2014 and parts of 2015—are out of the mix after signing Henderson Alvarez to a one-year, $4.25 million deal.  

Kazmir still has plenty of options but is likely waiting for the first reasonable four-year offer, per Heyman

Kazmir, 31, is entering his 12th season but showed no signs of aging in a year he made 31 starts, threw 183 innings and compiled a 3.10 ERA with the A’s and Houston Astros. 

The Washington Nationals could use another starter to replace Jordan Zimmermann, the Royals are now sans Cueto with Kazmir a more affordable option and the St. Louis Cardinals lost the John Lackey sweepstakes. Kazmir would be a worthy replacement for any of those. 

The Astros don’t plan to simply re-sign Kazmir as trade bait, according to the Houston Chronicle‘s Evan Drellichand already have a great core around Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Mike Fiers and Lance McCullers Jr. Add a healthy Scott Feldman, and they’ll have a remarkable five. 

The Orioles might make the most sense given Wei-Yin Chen is reportedly seeking a five-year, $100 million deal, per Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, and Baltimore will already be chasing the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays in a competitive AL East. 

Kazmir would be best suited to sign with a team he believes he’ll play a key role and with one that can contend. But he also should net that fourth year as a deserving and established lefty that would bolster the top of just about any rotation. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

10 MLB Players in Worst Spots as 2015 Winter Meetings Dust Settles

The 2015 MLB offseason has been a major bummer for Chris Davis and Yoenis Cespedes.

The winter meetings are fading into the background and those free-agent mashers are still hunting for that lucrative, and to this point, elusive, payday.

The big leaguers who crack the list that follows fall into two camps. The first are prominent free agents like Crush Davis and La Potencia, whose respective markets have been slow to materialize. Some of those free-agents are stuck unaccounted for because they’re attached to draft pick compensation.

The second group are players whose names have been swirling around in the trade winds, but whose chances of actually getting moved look bleak. Some are playing on outsized contracts that don’t match their on-field production. Others, have ended up here because they’ve dealt with issues in the clubhouse or away from the diamond entirely.

Begin Slideshow

The Hottest Questions of the 2015-2016 MLB Offseason, Post-Winter Meetings

Johnny Cueto and Jose Fernandez are just two of the big league stars whose future has yet to be determined as the winter meetings recede into the background and the 2015-2016 MLB offseason rolls along.

In addition to Cueto, there are at least a couple of prominent players who are still waiting to hit the free-agent jackpot. Meanwhile, Fernandez isn’t the only dynamic major leaguer who just can’t seem to shake all those pesky trade rumors.

After taking an inventory of all the action in Nashville, Tennessee, here’s a breakdown of the biggest questions (and answers) from the baseball week that was.

Begin Slideshow

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress