Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is having arthroscopic surgery on his left hip labrum that’ll end his season. On paper, Davis will return healthy by 2022 to finish out the final year of his seven-year, $161 million contract.
Was that the worst contract in baseball history? It’s at least close.
O’s VP Mike Elias said Chris Davis underwent arthroscopic surgery today to repair a left hip labrum. Typically takes anywhere from 4-5 months to return so he projects to be out for the year.— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) May 19, 2021
Ever since signing that contract back in 2016, Davis hasn’t hit over .221. He was always more of a free-swinging slugger anyway — until you realize he hit more than 26 homers just once.
But the one reason I’m hesitant to call this the worst contract ever is because Chris Davis cared. I know it seems silly that I give credit to an athlete for giving a rip about his job, but plenty of former athletes haven’t cared, despite their lucrative deals.
Remember when Jacoby Ellsbury signed a seven-year, $153 million deal to ditch the Red Sox for the rival Yankees? Well, he was satisfied enough with his contract that he rarely ever utilized the team training staff. When you pay a player upwards of $26 million/year and he refuses to use a team doctor — that’s a terrible contract.
I didn’t even mention yet that Ellsbury played just 520 games, and many appearance came off the bench as a pinch runner.
We wish Chris Davis luck
As we always do, we wish Chris Davis luck on his recovery. As a former athlete, I can attest to the difficulties of returning from injury. Davis obviously wanted to get his body right to at least attempt to remedy his last few years in Baltimore, but that revenge tour is now on hold.
The Yankees paid $5 million to ultimately take Ellsbury off their roster, so we’ll have to see how Baltimore handles this. Davis has been a stand-up teammate, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him stick around.