Orioles unofficially start season with 2014 FanFest
If you’re thinking that Freddie Freeman’s eight-year, $135 million comparison is an approximation of what the Orioles might have to pay Chris Davis, it’s not a bad assumption.
The Atlanta Braves’ first baseman, who is two years younger than Davis, reached an agreement on Tuesday.
Atlanta moved quickly to lock up Freeman who is in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Actually, Davis may be worth more than Freeman, whose first three years in the big leagues compare favorably with those of Hall of Famer Eddie Murray.
In signing Freeman for eight years, Atlanta paid him for three years of arbitration and five years of free agency since he wouldn’t have been eligible until 2017.
If the Orioles did the same for Davis, who last month signed a one-year contract for $10.35 million, they would have given him a seven-year contract. Davis has two years to go before free agency, presumably upping his asking price.
On Saturday, Davis reiterated his desire to stay in Baltimore and Dan Duquette told fans that he had approached a long-term extension with Scott Boras, Davis’ agent. Davis acted surprised when told the news, saying he didn’t know there had been any discussions.
Boras is loath to have his clients sign before free agency comes though he did make an exception for the Angels’ Jered Weaver.
Davis and Matt Wieters are both essential to the Orioles, and extensions would be a wise move. Both are represented by Boras, who has a good working relationship with Duquette, but for the moment, the Orioles are concentrating on avoiding arbitration with Wieters.
Duquette said that he hoped to forego the arbitration route. Wieters’ hearing is scheduled for a week from now.
Perhaps spring training would be a good time for the Orioles to seriously discuss long-term extensions for Davis and Wieters with perhaps a shorter one for J.J. Hardy.
For now, the Orioles are still trying to add to their pitching. While there have been unconfirmed reports that Korean right-hander Suk-min Yoon will sign shortly, more teams seem to be intrigued by him and he’s auditioning for more of them.
And yes, A.J. Burnett and Bronson Arroyo remain unsigned with spring training just eight days away.