Boras doesn't think Orioles have drawn "any lines in the sand" in Davis talks

NASHVILLE - According to agent Scott Boras, there is nothing "immediate" in regard to first baseman Chris Davis' contract negotiations. Talks continue as the Orioles' patience is tested.

Boras has more meetings planned for tonight with unidentified teams, but an agreement with Davis isn't anticipated.

Scott-Boras-sidebar.jpg"I've been in talks with a number of teams and, as with most Winter Meeting dynamics, you're kind of moving along and hearing what everyone has to say and just reporting it to Chris," Boras said while surrounded by reporters in one of the lobbies at the Gaylord Orpyland Resort & Convention Center.

"Nothing immediate, but certainly we know a little bit more than we knew when we first came here."

Executive vice president Dan Duquette, manager Buck Showalter and team sources have stated that the Orioles are close to moving away from Davis. However, Boras wouldn't confirm that he's received a firm deadline from the club.

"The way we usually handle free agency is we create an exchange so everyone can get the most information that they can in each respective situation," he said. "I don't think anyone draws any lines in the sand about how this is going to go forward or not."

Asked to describe Davis' market, Boras replied, "Well, I think you have to describe talent, and if you were to add the number of home runs that two very fine players have, (Jason) Heyward and (Justin) Upton, if you were to add the number of home runs they had over the last three years, Chris Davis would still have more home runs. It tells you about how prolific his talent is. He truly is the best available home run hitter in the game and probably will be for a few years, anyway, so he's a pretty special talent."

The Orioles have been aggressive in their attempts to re-sign Davis, offering a contract for around $150 million - easily the most in franchise history.

"They've certainly been responsive, and Dan and I and Peter (Angelos), as well, have all been involved in the conversation, and they've certainly let us know that Chris is a guy they covet," Boras said. "Certainly, with his performance level the last few years, it's been something that I think any baseball team would want to have."

Boras said he's got a clearer vision of the market for Davis "now and still ongoing."

"I still have meetings to go involving Chris with teams, so we're trying to get as much done as we can while we're here," he said. "We still have continued dialogue that's ongoing with Baltimore, too."

Davis may be clogging the works, with teams waiting on him to sign.

"I don't know," Boras said. "I know a lot of teams covet power and they want to try to get it, and if they can't get it, they're going to go to the next available source. Chris has truly separated himself in this market. He's a guy that, since A-Rod, he's the last guy to hit over 45 home runs in a five-year period twice, so it's a pretty rare performance he offers."

Boras pretty much laid it at the Orioles' feet to get a deal done, saying, "It's almost like the teams have to make the decision they want to bring things to a final term. Obviously, we've had clubs come to us and make proposals and discuss their timetable for things, so a lot of that depends on when the clubs are really ready to take this to the final step."

Catcher Matt Wieters became the first Boras client to accept the qualifying offer, assuring his return in 2016.

"There's no question the qualifying offer system impaired Matt Wieters, because you have a number of clubs that are excluded from bidding on him because they don't want to give up draft picks to do so," Boras said. "So I think any fine player, certainly a player worthy of a team extending the qualifying offer, you know that system is a detriment in his free agency."

Boras said the market is "great" for left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who could net a five-year deal.

"He's a guy who's had two ERA in Baltimore of 3 1/2 or below two years in a row," Boras said. "You'd have to go back a long time to find a Baltimore pitcher who's done that in an offensive ballpark. The last two years his ERA is lower against AL East teams than David Price, so that tells you how good of a pitcher he is."

The Orioles maintain interest in Pedro Alvarez, also a Boras client who was non-tendered by the Pirates and could replace some of the power lost if Davis leaves.

"Pedro Alvarez hit 35 home runs twice and has driven in 100 runs twice, and he's a guy whose home run per at-bat ratios rank among the tops of the free agent class, so obviously there's going to be interest in him for any team that wants power," Boras said.

The best quote I heard from Boras came after a reporter asked whether the agent sensed that a lot of hitters on the market are waiting for other players to sign.

"In the ice cream sandwich of markets, you have your boundaries and then you have all the vanilla in the middle," Boras said. "It's pretty hard to get to the vanilla until you get to the chocolate on the outside, so they either start at the bottom or they start at the top. And normally that's how these things work."

A few notes and quotes from Dan Duquette
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