In looking back at the last week on this blog, we got into a few interesting topics and will revisit a few today. Your takes and comments on these topics are very welcome.
On Monday, we took yet another look at Chris Davis. He’s firmly in the doghouse of fans around Birdland after his struggles hit a new low in 2018. Last season, Davis hit .168/.243/.296 with 192 strikeouts, 16 homers and 49 RBIs. The same player who produced an OPS of 1.004 in 2013 and .923 in 2015 posted a .539 OPS in 2018.
But he has the public backing of new general manager Mike Elias.
“He’s a big part of this roster. He’s a big part of this lineup. This team is much worse when he’s not a dangerous force in the middle of the lineup, so he’s here,” Elias said during the Winter Meetings.
On Wednesday, we looked at what would represent success for the 2019 Orioles. Expecting a contender is a stretch for a club starting what is likely a multi-season rebuild. So, if we look past the won-loss record, the O’s could find progress next season in what they do on the farm, in adding some international signings, in having a strong draft in June, in continuing to build up scouting and analytics and in building harmony throughout the entire organization.
On Friday, we took a closer look at the Orioles’ international efforts, now that Koby Perez has been hired as senior director of international scouting. We heard from Perez in this entry. How quickly can Perez and Elias get the O’s international efforts up to speed?
So what is your take on some of these issues and any others on your mind today? How can Chris Davis get his bat going in 2018 and what would make for a successful 2019 season in your mind?
Britton’s new deal: Former Orioles closer Zach Britton, traded to the New York Yankees in July, is going to remain a Yankee for at least two more seasons. He’s agreed to a unique deal that could keep him in the Bronx for the next two, three or four years.
The deal is essentially a three-year contract for $39 million in which Britton gets $13 million each of the next three years. After the second year of the deal, the Yankees could exercise a fourth option year on the deal for $14 million, keeping Britton through 2022. But Britton also could opt out of this pact after the second season. Presumably, the three-year deal comes into play if, after year two, neither the team picks up the fourth year and Britton fails to opt out.
This pact should work out pretty well for an original Oriole, who is guaranteed either $26 million over two years or $39 over three seasons. If he has a great next two seasons, he can go back on the open market and try for another big deal. If he doesn’t pitch well for two years, or not up to expectations, he is still going to get the third season.
Britton was a good pitcher the last two years but not nearly to the level of the dominant Britton of 2014-2016 in Baltimore. We’ll see which pitcher the Yankees get for at least the next two seasons, and O’s fans are going to have to deal with more sightings of Britton in pinstripes in the future