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Crushed: Insight into the O’s thoughts on Chris Davis

chris davisOn paper, it’s no contest. You have a choice between Chris Davis and Jason Heyward, you take Chris Davis.

Come on. Crush had 47 homers and 117 RBI last year for Baltimore, and two years ago, he had 53 homers and knocked in 138.

Heyward, late of St. Louis, has been a disappointment: after hitting 27 home runs and driving in 82 in 2012, he hasn’t hit more than 14 out since, and had 13 last year, and the 60 RBI he put up in 2015 is his recent high.

So naturally, Davis is still a free agent, his best offer being seven years for $150 million, whereas Heyward is the newest member of the Chicago Cubs, which has agreed to terms with the outfielder for eight years, $184 million.

Why? Because we have a different sense of value these days than the traditional counting stats.

Heyward contributes at bat and in the field, where he is among the best outfielders in baseball. Overall, his wins above replacement the past two seasons, 6.2 in 2014 and 6.5 in 2015, is among the best in the bigs.

Davis, for his prowess with the long ball, does little else. His best position is DH, reflected by his negative defensive WAR in 2015.

Overall, his WAR was at 5.2 last season, good, but $20 million-a-year for most of the rest of his 30s good?

That’s the other issue. Davis will turn 30 in spring training, so his push for a seven-year deal means paying him big, big money into his mid and then late 30s.

Heyward turns 27 in August. His eight-year deal with the Cubs ends with him at age 35. The last couple of years of the deal may see some decline, but for Davis, you’re likely looking at three, four years where he is being vastly overpaid.

This is hard to accept for fans who look at the numbers – 47! 117! – and wonder what the heck is going on.

It’s baseball, played the new way.

– Column by Chris Graham


augusta free press
augusta free press