Orioles' Chris Davis announces retirement - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Chris Davis announces retirement

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Chris Davis announced his retirement from baseball on Thursday morning. The Orioles’ first baseman, who twice led Major League Baseball in home runs and signed a team-record, seven-year $161 million contract, retired with just over a season left on that deal. Davis, 35, has been on the injured list throughout the 2021 season.

“After an extended time and dealing with my injury and recent hip surgery, I informed the Orioles about my decision to retire effective today,” Davis said in a Tweet released by the team.

“I want to thank the Orioles’ partnership group, led by the Angelos family, the Orioles organization, my teammates and coaches. The University of Maryland Children’s Hospital with whom I will continue to be involved following my retirement, and, of course, Birdland. Thank you for all the many memories that I will cherish forever.

Sincerely CD”

Dan Connolly, of The Athletic, reported: “According to industry sources, the Orioles will pay all of Chris Davis’ salary for the remainder of his contract. However, the $17 million owed in 2022 (not including $6M deferred) will be spread over several years so that the Orioles don’t have to pay a lump in 2022. He still gets paid thru 2037.”

And that, “According to sources, Davis’ hip injury was much more serious than initially thought. Was degenerative and dysfunctional and he knew he could no longer play with it while rehabbing. So he came to the Orioles and they worked out a settlement that frees up payroll in 2022.”

Davis was acquired from the Texas Rangers on July 30, 2011 along with pitcher Tommy Hunter for reliever Koji Uehara.

In 2013, Davis led the majors in home runs with 53 and runs batted in with 138. After a 25-game suspension for use of a stimulant without a prescription in 2014, Davis again led the majors in home runs with 47 in 2015. In January 2016, he signed the huge contract.

Davis hit 38 home runs and drove in 84 runs in 2016 but led the major leagues with 219 strikeouts. Things got steadily worse after that.


In 2018, Davis hit just .168 with 16 home runs and 49 RBIs. Between September 14, 2018 and April 13, 2019, Davis went hitless in 54 at-bats.

He ended 2019 with a .179 average, hitting his final 12 home runs and producing 36 RBIs.

Last year, Davis was on the injured list because of a knee injury and hit only .115 (6-for-52) with three RBIs. His final game was on September 11, 2020 when he was hitless in three at-bats in the second game of a doubleheader at Yankee Stadium.

He batted twice in the Orioles’ first spring training game this year, then didn’t play again.

The Orioles thanked Davis in a statement: “The Orioles support Chris Davis as he retires from baseball today. We thank Chris for his 11 years of service to the club, to Orioles fans, and to the Baltimore community.

“Athletes have the power to change lives and better their communities, and Chris and his family have done just that. We admire their dedication to those most in need, with hundreds of hours of community work completed, millions of dollars donated, and countless other charitable efforts performed, often without fanfare.

“For every inning played and home run hit, hour of service completed and amount donated, the Davis family has made an immeasurable impact on our city and on Orioles baseball. We send our best wishes to Chris, his wife Jill, and their daughters Ella, Evie, and Grace, each of whom will forever be part of our Orioles family.”

As a player, Davis will be remembered for hitting 253 home runs in an Orioles uniform, seventh most in team history, and for pitching two innings in relief in the Orioles’ 9-6 win over the Boston Red Sox in a 17-inning game on May 6, 2012.

He also left his mark for his charity work, which continues. In 2019, Davis donated $3 million to the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB




  1. Old Orioles Fan

    August 12, 2021 at 11:15 am

    !Gracias, Jesuchristo!

  2. CalsPals

    August 12, 2021 at 11:17 am

    Congrats & God Bless…go O’s…

  3. dlgruber1

    August 12, 2021 at 11:31 am

    It’s gonna be very easy for “fans” to rip Davis but in a day and age of professional athletes in ALL sports caring far more about themselves than their owners, teammates, fans, and as we recently witnessed, even their own country, what CD is doing is remarkable. I’m not gonna lie and say I wasn’t terribly disappointed in his performance since he signed his extension but I’m also NEVER gonna forget the great memories which he made happen. To walk away with over a year to go in the contract, well, all I can say is, who among us can say we’d do the same. I wish him a long, happy and healthy retirement.

    • johninbethany

      August 12, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      dlgruber1,yes CD did a lot for the city. but read the details, he did not walk away from the remaining money. he is getting paid for the remainder, it’s just getting deferred for a few years.

    • dlgruber1

      August 12, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      johninbethany, thank you for correcting me. I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. As it is, I still have no problem with it. It’s not as if he purposely injured himself and as I said, I have SO many great memories that he created. Again, I am disappointed in his performance but not in the man. He and his wife have done SO much for Baltimore and I guarantee a lot more than the public is aware of. I wish him nothing but the best.

  4. BenSch

    August 12, 2021 at 12:05 pm

    Holy crap! Didn’t see that coming. Good man, that shows character. I know he must’ve really wanted to get back to the game and his glory years. And he could’ve ridden out the last year of his contract.
    He’s a good man and a good baseball man. Maybe he has some experience to share with the young fellas.
    Well, that frees up some budget for the rebuild.

  5. jimcarter

    August 12, 2021 at 12:12 pm

    Let’s see if Elias spends any money and if he does it wisely. Possibly a contract extension for a current .300 hitter. Speaking of wise moves, that same player needs to move to left. His arm is sad.

  6. Puyerunner

    August 12, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for the memories Chris. And for being you on and off the field. Godspeed to you and Jill.

  7. BenSch

    August 12, 2021 at 1:22 pm

    Rich, how big an impact do you figure CDs retirement has on the O’s rebuild budget?

    • Icterus fan

      August 12, 2021 at 1:43 pm

      I can’t wait for Rich’s response on this salient question.

    • CalsPals

      August 12, 2021 at 1:50 pm

      Sounds like nothing if he’s still getting paid…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 12, 2021 at 3:34 pm

      Not a lot because they knew he would leave after next year, no matter what.

    • WorldlyView

      August 12, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      Is there in fact a “rebuild budget” or are we just assuming there is one?
      BTW, the Orioles were the subject of a mini-discussion on last night’s “Pardon the Interruption” on ESPN. The co-hosts were asked to fill in the blank: “It’s [blank] that the Orioles have surrendered at least nine runs in six consecutive games.” Kornheiser’s word was “sad” because the O’s are not competitive after being “very good for a very long time” and having a really loyal fan base. He attributed triple digit team losses to what soon will be “three full seasons of utter ineptitude.” He added that maybe it was time for a change in ownership. Torre, the guest co-host, linked the team’s poor performance to the fact that they are being run by the same guys who ran the Astros: they are “tanking.” He thought this strategy was costly to the fan base “in the present tense.” Their comments sure do echo many of those posted on this website.

  8. millboy

    August 12, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    Good luck to a class act…hope you can enjoy retirement when the hip heals

  9. Birdman

    August 12, 2021 at 1:40 pm

    The final receipts on Chris Davis’ $161 million contract – 92 home runs, 762 strikeouts, and a .196 batting average … in relation to the amount paid, has there ever been a worse contract in MLB history?

    • csquare67

      August 12, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Um…………….no. He should be embarrassed to not walk away earlier.

    • In The Triangle

      August 12, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      Maybe Mike Hampton in Colorado

    • Bhoffman1

      August 12, 2021 at 8:40 pm


  10. csquare67

    August 12, 2021 at 1:45 pm

    the conversation went like this: “Chris, we are ready to move on and want to give you the opportunity to exit gracefully. We will pay you your full contract if you retire today or we will release you and you would still get your full contract.” Easy decision on his part.

  11. Icterus fan

    August 12, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    As much “bash fest” potential that this news brings, CD was good for this city in many ways and generous too. Does that offset his colossal under performance? No, but he showed generosity with a largesse that he would have a hard time ever spending. And he didn’t HAVE to donate a dime.
    Wish he could have continued his previous level of performance – thats still a head scratcher of monumental proportions.
    Best of luck to him and his family.

  12. Bancells Moustache

    August 12, 2021 at 1:56 pm

    “Our long national nightmare is over”

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      August 12, 2021 at 5:02 pm

      BANMO !! BB.com’s preeminent commenter.

      The collective IQ of this site dropped by 50% the day you decided to boycott.

      Drink Pepsi my friend.

      • Bancells Moustache

        August 12, 2021 at 5:23 pm

        You’re too kind Boog. Sadly, in keeping with the Gerald Ford theme,


    • Raymo

      August 12, 2021 at 10:15 pm

      BanMo… I remember when you gave yourself that moniker. We miss you, dude.

  13. garyintheloo

    August 12, 2021 at 2:44 pm

    May 6, 2012 was truly special and revealed that we could be on our way. 2014 had a surprising number of injuries down the stretch and into the playoffs but it was a wonderful time to be a fan. Best of luck ahead Chris. Lots of kids and parents to thank you.

  14. Buzz1979

    August 12, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    When did the party start?!

  15. Bman

    August 12, 2021 at 3:01 pm

    One less thing to worry about with the rebuild and future. Let’s usher in the new fold. Good luck CD.

  16. willmiranda

    August 12, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    A reminder of two truisms not always taken seriously. Baseball is a business, and business is about contracts. Scott Boras belongs in the agents’ wing of the Hall of Fame. Second, there is more to life than the games. Godspeed to Chris and Jill as they go into the next chapter of their lives, continuing the good works they have already begun.

  17. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 12, 2021 at 5:10 pm

    So who do we complain about now? Oh that’s right …

  18. musicmanjr

    August 12, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Brandon Hyde

  19. Bhoffman1

    August 12, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Can someone explain if he retired why does he get the final year of his contract

    • Rich Dubroff

      August 12, 2021 at 6:04 pm

      Because he negotiated it, Bruce.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        August 12, 2021 at 7:17 pm

        Good answer Rich.

    • Bhoffman1

      August 12, 2021 at 8:39 pm

      He’s smarter then I thought.

  20. Al Nassar

    August 12, 2021 at 6:53 pm

    I wish Chris well, he deserves it. I would hope that the Orioles hav learned something with these ridiculous big contracts. There is no one out there that can walk on water. When contracts like this happen the fans are the ones to suffer

    • EkimC

      August 12, 2021 at 10:17 pm

      … and don’t sign anyone with Davis anywhere in their name… just saying…

  21. jimpalmer65

    August 12, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    Good bye, Chris Davis, Thank you for your time with the Orioles, especially 2015. Wish you well.

  22. Boog Robinson Robinson

    August 12, 2021 at 7:28 pm

    Sadly, and notwithstanding the-however-many successful litigations … this player’s contract will forever be the legacy of one Peter G. Angelos.

    • Birdman

      August 12, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      Agreed, the Chris Davis contract will stand as the ultimate example of Peter Angelos’ meddling and dysfunctional ownership reign.

    • Icterus fan

      August 12, 2021 at 8:08 pm

      I remember when the CD signing happened and the terms of the contract were announced. I remember thinking about how much we needed more pitching and how many arms that may have bought us.
      Alas, I was not consulted.

      • jimpalmer65

        August 14, 2021 at 6:16 pm

        Icterus fan is that why Ubaldo Jimenez was signed in 2014? LOL

  23. Jerry

    August 13, 2021 at 12:28 am

    I was a great Chris Davis fan, but sadly his legacy will be how his huge contract led the Orioles to three straight 100 loss seasons (that includes this year). It is a shame that these mega contracts don’t have performance clauses. The fact that he did not contribute to any wins the past several years while his contract money prevented the Os from “re-building” properly has been frustrating. Re-building has been an illusion…maybe things will be better next year.

  24. G-man

    August 13, 2021 at 7:53 am

    Best of luck #19.

  25. BenSch

    August 13, 2021 at 11:08 am

    So it sounds like all the team gets is an open roster spot?
    I agree that such a ridiculous contract is, well… ridiculous. I would think it creates an expectation of super-human performance that would have a negative psychological effect. A de facto salary cap!
    I hope all the teams can learn from this and refrain from dangling this type of contract. Except the Yanks are more able to absorb such a financial blood-bath…

  26. jimpalmer65

    August 14, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    Here are the details of the Chris Davis deferred payments: 2022 would have been the final season of the Davis deal, and Baltimore still would have owed him $17 million. That’s in addition to $6 million in deferrals Davis had already agreed to. Dan Connolly of The Athletic reported that the Orioles had agreed to spread out Davis’ 2022 $17 million salary over several years beyond 2022 in order to avoid paying a lump sum all at once. That’s in addition to previously agreed upon deferred payments.

    According to Spotrac, the Orioles will pay Davis just over $9 million per year through 2025. After that, the payments will be reduced to $3.5 million per year in deferred salary through 2032. Then they’ll pay him $1.4 million annually through 2037, at which point Davis will be 51 years old. In total, Davis will pick up another $42 million from the Orioles over a 15-year period starting in 2023.

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