The Orioles made a lot of people in Baltimore happy this offseason, as they signed Chris Davis to a seven-year, $161 million contract. Davis, 29, has hit 126 home runs over the last three years, including 47 a season ago.
“Well, if there’s one thing we heard from our fans this winter, it was sign Chris Davis,” Orioles general manager Dan Duquette said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “He had two dynamite years with the team – ’15 and ’13. He’s a prolific power hitter. The fans like to see him hit and he’s done some really good work for the Orioles, so we’re happy he came back. The Oriole ownership made a long-term commitment to him and Chris made a long-term commitment to the Orioles, and we’re looking forward to having him anchoring our infield. He’s a really good kid. He’s got some great values and a good work ethic. It’s good for the club to have that stability in the lineup and also he’s very, very popular with our fans.”
The Orioles have made the playoffs in two of the last four years but hope to rebound from an 81-81 season.
“The AL East is a tough division,” Duquette said. “I think each team has won it over the last five or six years. You got the two behemoths in New York and Boston. Toronto had a great year last year and Tampa Bay has a really good organization. They’re good at developing pitchers. And then there’s the Orioles. It’s very competitive every year. Buck (Showalter is) an excellent leader. He gets our guys ready to play. He gets our defense tuned up so that everybody knows what’s expected of him and where they should be at all times, and then we go to work. We’ve got some good everyday ball players. They provide leadership on the field like Adam Jones, J.J. Hardy – they’re back. They’re good role models for our younger guys like (Manny) Machado and Jonathan Schoop, who’s emerging as a good everyday player. He should be a good power-hitter at second base. Got a great arm, good hands. And then we were able to add a couple of outfielders.”
That includes Mark Trumpo and Hyun-Soo Kim. Baltimore also acquired Pedro Alvarez.
“We should have good power,” Duquette said. “If we can get a little better on-base capability, we should be able to score the runs we need.”