- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 12, 2021

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis announced his retirement Thursday, citing back and hip injuries that have caused him to miss the entire 2021 season.  The 35-year-old steps away after 13 seasons in the majors. 

Once a powerful slugger, Davis‘ performance at the plate fell dramatically in recent years. In 2019, he set the record for most at-bats without a hit to begin the season — going 0-for-54.  He finished that year hitting just .179 and was even worse the following season when he hit .115 in just 16 games. 

But at his peak, Davis was arguably the face of the Orioles. He set a franchise record with 53 home runs in 2013, his lone year as an All-Star. The team’s management signed him to a seven-year, $161 million contract in 2016 — the richest in Orioles history. Davis arrived to Baltimore in 2011 via trade from the Texas Rangers, where he spent the first three-plus years of his career. 

“After an extended time dealing with my injury and recent hip surgery, I informed the Orioles about my decision to retire effective today,” Davis said in a statement. “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 all for the many memories that I will cherish forever.”

Davis walks away with one year left on his contract, though multiple reports indicate Davis and the Orioles agreed to a contract restructure that will still pay Davis‘ $17 million salary owed but over a series of installments spread over several years. Davis also had other deferrals on his contract that will also be honored. 

Before announcing retirement, Davis had been sidelined for a series of injuries. The team put Davis on the 60-day injured list to begin the year due a lower back strain and then on May 19, the team announced the slugger had undergone season-ending hip surgery. 

Davis appeared in 1,417 MLB games across 13 seasons, 1,151 of those coming with Baltimore. He hit 295 home runs — leading MLB in that category twice (53 in 2013, 47 in 2015). He finishes his career with a .233 batting average, .315 on-base percentage and an OPS of .774.

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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