As initially reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a contract with slugging first baseman Chris Davis:
davis gets $161M for 7 years #orioles
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2016
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports adds that a still-unknown portion of the salary will be deferred, a feature of the contract that would benefit the Orioles.
Davis entered the free agent market this winter after playing for the Orioles since a midseason trade in 2011 brought him over from the Texas Rangers. With the Rangers, whom Davis had played for since the 2008 season, Davis was a limited player, not making a postseason appearance in Texas’ 2010 run to the World Series. Davis had been traded along with pitcher Tommy Hunter in exchange for veteran closer Koji Uehara.
Since 2012, Davis’ first full season with the Orioles, nobody in the Majors has hit more home runs: Davis’ count of 159 tops Edwin Encarnacion’s 151, and is a significant margin over third-place Nelson Cruz, who has hit 135. Over the same time span, nobody has struck out more times than Davis, either, as he is more than 100 strikeouts ahead of second-place Jay Bruce. However, Davis’ strikeout percentage is seventh-highest in the Majors over that time, and his 0.34 walks per strikeout is nowhere near the Majors’ lowest rate.