One of the more interesting situations in MLB offseason of recent years is developing because of the Baltimore Orioles and their wait for Chris Davis to make up his mind, with the Washington Nationals, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Angels, San Francisco Giants & Texas Rangers all waiting to see what happens, while Yoenis Cespedes and Justin Upton are in something of a stuck situation.
What’s the deal? The Orioles made a big offer to their slugger, Chris Davis, who has 159 home runs over the last four seasons, including 47 in 2015. Davis is waiting for more, which the Orioles aren’t willing to give him. Meanwhile, the entire market for big hitters hinges on his decision. Once the Orioles know if Davis takes it or leaves it (reported $150 million for six years), things will be in motion, and the other teams mentioned might become more aggressive when it comes to Cespedes and Upton.
The Nationals are an interesting team that comes up because they’ve already signed Daniel Murphy, the New York Mets postseason hero until they ran into the Kansas City Royals. He went on a home run hitting spree in the playoffs, especially against the Chicago Cubs, and while it didn’t help him get a contract offer from the Mets (he declined the qualifying offer), it eventually put him on a division rival in Washington. The Nationals might end up taking Cespedes as well, who’s looking for a massive deal too (although teams are hoping he’ll take a short term deal). Murphy starred in the playoffs, Cespedes got the Mets into the playoffs with 17 home runs in 57 games.
The 28-year old Upton isn’t talked about as much but he was an All-Star in 2015 and has hit 26 home runs or more in three consecutive seasons. He’s not Davis, but he’s a very good hitter, and probably number two or three for these teams on the list, and with things moving quickly, could end up getting a nice deal, looking for $20 million a season over five or six years after making just over $14 million in 2014 and 2015 each.
The Orioles, rumor has it, only want Davis. If he doesn’t take the offer waiting for him, they’re not going after a different player who is asking for a lot of money. Of course all of this comes down to assumptions, nothing else. There’s also the matter of Alex Gordon who might not be the slugger teams are looking for, but can provide offense in abundance and possibly the finest defense and outfield can ask for. If he leaves, that might put the Royals into the mix of teams as well.