The Orioles bid against themselves on Chris Davis and they lost, signing a player who has had two seasons that were even solid-average in his career to a seven-year, $161 million contract that covers his age 30-36 seasons. Davis hit .196/.300/.404 in 2014, then, while having an excellent season in 2015, still had the American League's highest strikeout rate (by a wide margin), worst contact rate, and second-worst swinging strike rate (stats courtesy of Fangraphs).
As Law points out, Davis has only had two seasons, to this point, where he was worth $23 million. If a guy has only had two good seasons, by the age 30, why would you bet that he's going to have 7 more after the age 30? I don't know that Davis is a great bet to age well.
As much as it was a fun to think about the Jays signing Davis, I'm happy we aren't the ones giving him all that money.
I like this Tweet.
The O's drew their line in the sand and then quietly erased it. In that post, Spector has some fun talking about how Davis comes close to replacing Davis in the Orioles lineup:
While it is difficult to replace someone of Davis' caliber, Davis comes as close as anyone to fitting the bill. Turning 30 in March, he'll be a year older than Davis was last year, and signing him for seven years means that there will be some downside in the deal's later seasons, but that's the sacrifice necessary to get the kind of talent who keeps contending in 2016 as a viable concept.
There's also the matter of the cost, because $161 million is a lot of money when you look around and see that most teams either lacked the payroll space for Davis or a position in which to play him. Still, it only takes one team to drive up the cost of acquisition, and the Orioles got their man by beating the seven-year, $150 million offer that Davis had received from Baltimore.
The signing might make Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion a little more expensive to sign. It looks like teams are paying a premium for power. I'd think that the $23 million a season sets a starting negotiating point for both Jose and Edwin.
Law doesn't like the contract that the Royals gave Ian Kennedy much:
But Ian Kennedy's contract is way beyond a rational projection of his performance going forward, giving $14 million a year to a chronically homer-prone pitcher who's performed like a fifth starter in two of the last three seasons.
It does make J.A. Happ's contract look pretty good.
In other links:
Shi Davidi thinks that Donaldson going to arbitration is a little "unsettling":
Given that the Blue Jays and Donaldson are only $450,000 apart, that's a real shame, since little good comes from taking any player, especially one who helped carry the team to its first post-season berth since 1993, into a hearing room.
And Tao of Stieb suggest that real grass is less important than good players for the Jays.I'll admit, I always thought that grass was a long shot, mostly for the reasons Tao states here:
The engineering feats that would be a prerequisite in order to install grass, including the new requirements for air circulation and something resembling sunlight, are considerable. In the end, you could invest tens or hundreds of millions of dollars into such a project and run the risk of damaging the structural integrity of the building or failing outright to sustain a reasonable field.
Putting in drainage would mean cutting through the floor of Rogers Centre. I'm not an engineer, but I don't know how that could be done without potenial weakening the building. And....if they spent all the money and did all the work that it would take to make the change, and for unforeseen reasons, the grass dies anyway, how much would it cost to change back?