On Saturday, as first reported by Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Baltimore Orioles re-signed Chris Davis to a seven-year, $161 million contract.
davis gets $161M for 7 years #orioles— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 16, 2016
Chris Davis contract structure: $17m annual salary 2016-2022. Annual payments $3.5m 2023-32, then $1.4m 2033-37. No interest on deferrals.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 16, 2016
The structure of the contract was an interesting aside, conjuring images of Bobby Bonilla's legendary Mets contract which will pay him until 2035 thanks to significant deferrals, but the substantial point remains--Chris Davis is no longer on the market. The Cardinals will not be signing him and the Orioles will have that much less payroll flexibility to sign other players whom the Cardinals may consider.
Speaking of future Cardinals considerations, here are some recent VEB posts which covered just that.
The free agent outfielder question
Craig Edwards questioned if the Cardinals may pursue free agent outfielders such as Justin Upton and Yoenis Cespedes, both of whom remain on the free agent market. While several of the big-ticket position player free agents have signed (Jason Heyward, Alex Gordon, Chris Davis since this post was published), these two stars stand out and could be intriguing fits with the Cardinals depending on what the cost would be. While the club may be happy with the status quo, it would be hard to say "no" to an all-star caliber outfielder capable of big power numbers if he were to fall into the team's lap at a discounted price.
Cardinals avoid arbitration
On Friday, the Cardinals signed Matt Adams, Seth Maness, Brandon Moss, and Trevor Rosenthal to one-year contracts, successfully avoiding salary arbitration, a topic covered by Ben Markham. I highly recommend this piece for anybody who wants a simple summation of the salaries to which the team and players agreed: while it may seem crazy on the surface that Brandon Moss will make five times the salary of Matt Adams, the timing of each in the arbitration cycle greatly affected their costs.
What is the Cardinals biggest hole?
As Lil Scooter summarized in Friday's Hunt and Peck, Grant Brisbee wrote about each MLB team's biggest hole at this point in the offseason. Brisbee is one of my favorite baseball writers and I am always passive-aggressively entertained by when he notes his begrudging admiration for the Cardinals. He points, I believe accurately, to the team's relative lack of outfield depth as the biggest concern for 2016, though as Brisbee states...
"The real issue is the depth behind them, but I'm sure the Cardinals are rolling out new outfielders from the glob of outfielder dough they keep in the fridge. They're probably fine."
Hey, he said it, not me. He's the Giants fan. Let's take his word for it.
A look into the slightly-more-distant future...
Prospects are always fun because prospects could be anything. Sure, we could talk about possibly signing a star pitcher, but when it comes to somebody such as Jake Woodford, analyzed by RB on Sunday, he could be that star pitcher someday! You never know. Also, I had to Google the person he used as the picture for this article because I have Insufficiently Hip Music Tastes.
A look into the future...of nostalgia!
I went slightly overboard last week, predicting the next 20 classes of the Cardinals Hall of Fame. In short, I'm forecasting the Hall starts inducting pretty much anybody who was even slightly good for three or more years for the Cardinals in about a decade unless induction rules change. It's sort of a Mad Max-style dystopia in the most first-world-problems way humanly possible.
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I've never been one to, say, come up with some tenuous link between Dr. King and baseball, but even though there are some, that's not what the man's broader significance is, and I don't want to be trite about his importance. Some of you have a day off work or school and some of you don't, but regardless, you should take a moment out of your day to consider his contributions.
Have a great day, everybody.