The Baltimore Orioles have re-signed first baseman and outfielder Chris Davis, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Saturday.
Davis signed a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Orioles, Heyman reported. That is $23 million per season, which ties him as the highest-paid free agent on a per year basis with new-Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward. In total guarantee, however, Davis falls short of Heyward by one-year and $23 million.
The deal has an interesting structure.
Davis will make $17 million per season over the life of the contract, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. Then, he will receive $3.5 million a year from 2023 to 2032. From 2033 to 2037, Chris Davis will make $1.4 million a year. In terms of total deferred money, Davis will be paid $42 million after his deal expires.
It obviously is interesting to see a deal structured this way, but deferred money is not rare around baseball, especially in larger contracts.
It allows for the Orioles to have more space on their payroll to try and contend while Davis is under contract. He is not as much of a burden on their payroll as he would be without the deferred money.
Davis is one of the most feared sluggers in all of Major League Baseball, hitting 126 home runs in the past three seasons in Baltimore, averaging 46 per 162 games played.
He obviously would command a big contract from the start of this offseason. Scott Boras is Davis' agent, and he is known for always getting a lot of money for his players. Davis did not have many suitors outside of the Orioles this offseason, but their negotiations reportedly did not go too smoothly.
The Orioles reportedly discussed amongst themselves whether to walk away from negotiations with Davis at numerous times.
They reportedly had an offer out to Davis of seven-years and $154 million, but would not raise their offer any further to meet his demands.
The latest update in Baltimore came just yesterday, when the Orioles were allegedly very frustrated with the negotiations of Davis and could consider moving on to other options like Yoenis Cespedes.
It's not exactly certain what ended up happening, though it appears that if the Orioles were considering moving on to Cespedes, they had a quick change of heart and gave into Davis' huge contract wishes.
Last season, the soon-to-be 30-year-old hit .262/.361/.562 with 47 home runs and 117 RBIs in 670 plate appearances. However, he also struck out a league-leading 208 times. According to FanGraphs, Chris Davis was worth 5.6 Wins Above Replacement.
Over his Orioles' career, Davis has been an invaluable part of their lineup, amassing 15.1 fWAR in about 3 1/2 years with the club.