Chris Davis has two years and $46 million left on the seven-year, $161 million contract he signed in January 2016. The last few years have been bitterly disappointing for Davis, and many fans would be happier if the Orioles cut ties with the 34-year-old first baseman.
On a video conference call Wednesday, Davis said he wants to keep playing with the Orioles.
“My desire to play has nothing to do with the amount of money that I’m owed or the amount of money I’m going to make,” Davis said. “I want to play the game because I feel that I can still compete. I enjoy playing the game.
“I want to play the game, not only for myself, but for my teammates, for our fan base, for the people of Baltimore. I still feel like there’s something that I have left to give. To be honest with you, I don’t really want my career to end on the note that it’s on right now.”
Davis, who was twice put on the 10-day injured list in 2020 because of left knee patella tendinitis, hit just .115 ( 6-for-52) with an RBI in 16 games.
“I don’t want it to end the way that things have gone the last few years for me,” he said. “There’s more of a story to be told. As far as my contract goes, it is what it is. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not giving up. I’m not throwing in the towel. I understand the club’s in a position right now where they’re trying to cut payroll, and I’m the one big lump that they’re kind of stuck with. They knew what they were signing up for when they took the job.”
Davis led the major leagues with 53 home runs and 138 RBIs in 2013, and led the majors in home runs with 47 in 2015. It’s been steadily downhill since, with averages of .168 in 2018 and .179 in 2019.
Despite his struggles, Davis said the game remains fun.
“Yeah, it is,” he said. “It is. It wasn’t at times. I’ll be honest with you. There were times when I was really kind of standing back and looking at everything, thinking, What the heck am I doing?’
“… I think this past season, that was probably the biggest question for me going into it was, ‘Am I going to be able to have fun in this environment without any fans, with really no contact with the outside world, with just the guys?’ While I did miss having fans at games, and that really took a lot of joy out of it for me, it was still fun for me to go in there every day and be with the guys.
“To go through that weird setup and scenario as far as the season was laid out, to go to the field every day and see those guys, being around them, and being a part of something that’s bigger than you, it still is fun for me.”