Chris Davis is going to make more than $10 million in 2014. Matt Wieters will make at least $6.5 million, perhaps more. What are the chances that the Orioles actually achieve their goal of signing both to long-term extensions?
Davis agreed to a one-year, $10.35 million contract on Friday, just before players and teams had to officially exchange figures.
Wieters was the only one of the six remaining arbitration eligible Orioles who didn’t reach agreement before the deadline. That’s no big deal because the Orioles really don’t want to go to arbitration with Wieters.
The best catcher in the team’s 60-year history is asking for $8.75 million in arbitration. The Orioles countered with $6.5 million, which would be a $1 million raise from last season.
They should be able to settle this one without arguing before an arbiter next month.
Davis has proclaimed his eagerness to sign on long-term. Wieters has been more coy. Both are represented by Scott Boras, who encourages clients to explore their free agent options, and most times it works for them financially.
In the case of Kendrys Morales, whose name had been linked with the Orioles this offseason, he may have been better served taking Seattle’s qualifying offer than waiting around.
Davis and Wieters are both under club control for another year, but if the Orioles wanted to sign both, now is a good time.
Maybe Davis, who hit 53 home runs and 138 RBIs last year, would sign a five-year deal for $80 million? How about a six-year deal for $100 million? It’s hard to guess what he would sign for, but those might be good starting points.
Boras and the Orioles have discussed longer term deals for Wieters in the past. If a catcher like Brian McCann who’s better offensively, but weaker defensively can command a five-year, $85 million deal on the market, Wieters’ money would probably have to be more than that.