Dear baseball players everywhere,
If you think you might be traded, are definitely going to be traded, have already been traded, are nervous about being traded or don’t want to be traded, listen up, because Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has some great advice for you.
Many of you probably know Davis as the guy who is currently standing in the way of Miguel Cabrera becoming the first player to win back-to-back Triple Crowns. Many of you know that he leads all of baseball with 37 home runs, five more than Cabrera, and has 97 RBIs too.
What a lot of people probably don’t know, however, is that Davis spent his first three seasons in the majors languishing and struggling to meet expectations with the Texas Rangers, the team that drafted him in the fifth round back in 2006. He made his debut at 22-years-old and was expected to be the next big thing for the franchise, but Davis never found the consistency at the plate that Texas had hoped for from their top prospect.
So in a trade similar to what tons of both major and minor leaguers are going to experience or have already experienced as the deadline nears, Davis and his teammate Tommy Hunter were traded to the Orioles on July 30, 2011 in return for Koji Uehara.
“It was a turning point in my career, a chance to start over and come to another organization and be the player everybody hoped I’d be,” Davis says, as quoted by Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore.
That pretty much sums it up and is something to think about for the players that find themselves in a trade situation.
Maybe it won’t feel right at the time, but look at somebody like Davis. Maybe he really did just need a change in scenery. He immediately got his chance to play everyday for Baltimore and hit 33 home runs in his first season. So far in 2013, he already has 37 with still 50-plus games left to play.
And he did so without the expectations and pressure that existed in Texas. Davis got his fresh start and got to re-invent himself. Of course, the Orioles could not be happier with the results.
So for any player who gets traded this year, remember Davis’ wise words. Take the opportunity to get a clean start, a fresh chance and a new beginning. Like Davis, you never know where it might take you, whether it is the beginning of a breakout career as one of the league’s premier sluggers or something else entirely.
As Davis has proven, change isn’t necessarily always a bad thing.