I'm a huge fan of Doug Davis. There is no way that Davis should be considered an ace or even a front line starting pitcher because his stuff is simply not that dominant. However, Davis is your classic middle of the rotation starter, who gets the job done and is about as consistent as they come. While Davis might not be the first choice for many teams, he's exactly the kind of pitcher that so many teams need.
How will Davis' limitations and consistency play out on the open market? Let's take a look:
The Case for Doug Davis
I know the quality start is not the best judge of a pitcher's performance, but what Doug Davis has done over the years is pretty amazing.
2009: 21 quality starts, 66%
2008: 14 quality starts, 54% (injured)
2007: 19 quality starts, 58%
2006: 16 quality starts, 47%
2005: 23 quality starts, 66%
2004: 24 quality starts, 71%
As much as I like Doug Davis, I never actually realized how consistent he has been over the past six years. That's the kind of consistency that so many teams would love to have at the back end of their rotation.
In five of the past six seasons, Doug Davis has recorded at least 30 starts with the lone exception being 2008 when Davis had to take time off to deal with thyroid cancer. Teams will pay for that kind of consistency.
The Case against Doug Davis
One negative about Davis is that he puts lots of runners on base. His lifetime WHIP sits at 1.491 while his 2009 WHIP is 1.495, which puts him 45th in the National League this season.
Doug Davis is not known as a control pitcher, but it has to be concerning to see that Davis currently leads the NL in walks (96).
The market for quality left handed starting pitchers this offseason is quite weak.
-Jarrod Washburn? Old and injured.
-Erik Bedard? Injury prone.
-Randy Johnson? Old and injured.
-Andy Pettitte? Does anyone really think he'll hit the open market?
So pretty much by default, Doug Davis has become one of the premier left handed starting pitchers on the open market (other than Randy Wolf).
Elias Ranking: Type B
I don't think there is enough upside here for the Diamondbacks to offer Davis arbitration. Davis earned $8.75 million and if he accepts arbitration, then he will definitely be looking for a nice raise. Davis is a nice player, but he is certainly not worth $11-$13 million that the Diamondbacks would have to pay him. Also, since Davis is a type B FA, the Diamondbacks wouldn't even get two high draft picks for offering him arbitration.
(3 years/$21 million)
Doug Davis is going to surprise some people on the open market. He's a guy that's been overlooked for a majority of his career, but I'm confident when I say that Davis will get paid this offseason. According to fangraphs, Davis has been worth $7.7 million this season, but in the five year previous, Davis was worth between $9-$14 million dollars. My guess is that his price range falls much closer to $9 million than $14 million.
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