ESPN's Buster Olney reported Thursday that Baltimore Orioles have taken their seven-year offer to Davis for about $150 million off the table. A source tells Olney the Orioles didn't raise the offer since Wednesday -- "not a nickel" -- before deciding to pull it back.
Davis is represented by Scott Boras, who is showing every indication of playing his usual waiting game. When Boras took power-hitting first baseman Prince Fielder to the open market a few years ago, he did not land a deal with the Detroit Tigers until late January.
While the Orioles may have pulled the offer, it was "not in the way that makes it an official breakup," says Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com. At the very least, the original offer shows the Orioles are willing to spend like they never have before. But Kubatko adds that "the Orioles won't blink when it comes to this staredown," and could easily allocate the money elsewhere to someone like Justin Upton.
MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli echoes a similar sentiment, noting the Orioles' stance on Davis has not changed, but "it's becoming increasingly evident Baltimore is running out of patience."
Davis led the majors with 47 home runs in 2015, and has 159 homers over the past four seasons, more than any player on the free-agent market.
Our rumors roundup continues with the biggest fish left in the free-agent pond:
Jason Heyward: The Washington Nationals have emerged as a serious suitor for the free-agent outfielder, according to multiple reports, with the Cardinals and Cubs also in the hunt. The Giants touched base with Heyward, but never got to the point of making an offer, tweets Alex Pavlovic. The chase for Heyward is a fascinating one because of "the vastly different evaluations of him as a player," writes Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post. Heyward is believed to be asking for a total package in the $200 million range.
Johnny Cueto: After balking at a $120 million offer from the Diamondbacks, Cueto may have found another suitor in the National League West. The Dodgers reportedly have "joined the fray" for the free-agent right-hander, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
Los Angeles Angels: There was a "growing sense" that owner Arte Moreno might be reluctant to raise the team's payroll past $189 million, which would hamper the pursuit of a big bat such as Heyward, Yoenis Cespedes or Upton, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The Angels could get some flexibility by trading $20 million pitcher C.J. Wilson.
San Diego Padres: The Padres acquired Christian Bethancourt from the Braves for right-hander Casey Kelly and a minor leaguer Thursday, giving them four catchers on the 40-man roster. That increases the odds the Friars will deal either starter Derek Norris and/or Austin Hedges, who were shopped at the winter meetings, reports Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Texas Rangers: Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports the Rangers had significant talks about a reliever-for-starter deal during the winter meetings. Talks with the Diamondbacks focused on Shawn Tolleson or Keone Kela with the Rangers believed to be seeking Archie Bradley in return.
Danny Santana: The Twins remain in the market for a fourth outfielder, and one in-house option could be Santana, who lost the starting shortstop job last season. La Velle Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Santana will start playing more in the outfield, giving the Twins another alternative if Byron Buxton struggles in spring training.
Todd Frazier: The Royals have talked to the Reds about Frazier, presumably to use him in left field since they already have a third baseman in Mike Moustakas, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark. Earlier in the week, the Reds and White Sox discussed a deal for Frazier, but talks stalled when Cincinnati asked for shortstop prospect Tim Anderson as part of the deal, says MLB.com's Phil Rogers.
Jose Quintana: The steady left-handed starter could be used in a trade to acquire some offense, but the White Sox seem more inclined to keep him based on the escalating price for pitchers, notes Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago.
Aroldis Chapman: The Dodgers haven't completely abandoned their pursuit of Chapman, but completing that deal seems like a long shot at this point, says Mark Saxon of ESPN LosAngeles. The Dodgers are reportedly still interested in Yankees reliever Andrew Miller.