Report: Orioles view Justin Upton as Chris Davis “fallback” option

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Baltimore made Chris Davis an offer to re-sign believed to be worth around $150 million, but it may or may not still be on the table and in the meantime Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Orioles are “staying in contact” with free agent outfielder Justin Upton as a potential “fallback” option should Davis go elsewhere.

Upton is two years younger than Davis, but he’s less versatile defensively, less productive overall, and has very good power rather than elite-level power. Still, as far as fallback options go a 28-year-old with an .825 career OPS is a pretty good one.

It seems clear that a) the Orioles are prepared to spend huge money on a free agent hitter, b) they specifically want a slugger, and c) they’d rather keep Davis than replace him with Upton if possible.

Baltimore would have to forfeit a draft pick to sign Upton, whereas re-signing Davis wouldn’t require doing so, but if the Orioles were to lose Davis as a free agent they’d receive a draft pick as compensation anyway.