Earlier this morning, Ken Rosenthal reported that not only were the Orioles still interested in bringing back Chris Davis, but also that they had increased their offer to the free agent slugger.
Sources: #Orioles have increased offer to Davis, possibly as high as 7/168. Team hopeful, even somewhat optimistic, that it can strike deal.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 10, 2015
While Rosenthal notes that the team was optimistic about this leading to an agreement, Buster Olney is reporting something else entirely.
"The Baltimore Orioles have taken their seven-year offer to slugger Chris Davis for approximately $150 million off the table, a source told MLB Insider Buster Olney on Thursday.
According to a source, the Orioles didn't raise the offer -- "not a nickel" -- since Wednesday, before deciding to pull it back."
The report goes on to say that it's "possible the talks will resume where they last left off" but that the Orioles are committed to remaking the team for the 2016 season, and will pursue other players to accomplish that goal.
Davis is undoubtedly one of the biggest power threats in the game today, but there's admittedly some concern that comes with offering him a deal that would pay him an AAV north of $20 million. Like the San Francisco Giants and their strange trend of winning the World Series every other year, Davis' value has oscillated drastically over the last four seasons.
Since 2012, his fWAR's have been 2.1, 7.0, 0.8, and 5.6, respectively. His lowest home run total during that time has been 26 home runs, and while the Orioles would likely welcome him back at a price they're comfortable with, they could choose to use that money elsewhere.
If the 2016 season were to begin today, Nolan Reimold and Ryan Flaherty would be the starting left and right fielders, which isn't exactly a fantastic duo for a team looking to make it back to the playoffs. As of now, it's unclear what Davis' market outside Baltimore might be, but Julie DiCaro is reporting that the Cardinals could look to Davis if they miss out on Jason Heyward.