Baltimore Orioles first baseman Glenn Davis formally filed for free agency yesterday, 10 days before the deadline.
The agency in Florida that represents Davis, Leader Enterprises, confirmed the declaration but would not comment further.
And the news came as no news to the Orioles.
"The agents [Robert Fraley and Mike Moye] told us they intended to file and protect his rights," said Orioles president Larry Lucchino. "We were fully aware this would be the case."
Orioles general manager Roland Hemond said: "Sure, we'd like to have him in our uniform next year." Filing is considered a protective device for free agents, who are eligible to negotiate with all 26 major-league teams after doing so.
Davis is in Israel on vacation and was not available for comment. He is not due back in the United States for at least a week.
He indicated at the end of the season that he would like to rejoin the Orioles after missing 105 games in 1991 with an injury to the spinal accessory nerve in his neck that at first was thought to be career-threatening.
"They've given me every indication, from everything they've said to me, that they consider me a part of their future," he said at the time. "I think I'll know very early in the negotiations how things stand. Let's just say if I've misread the situation, I'd be very
The Orioles have been in contact with Davis' representatives and say they have made his signing one of their top priorities.
"They've given me every indication, from everything they've said to me, that they condsider me a part of their future," he said at the time. "I think I'll know very early in the negotiations how things stand. Let' just say if I've misread the situation, I'd be very disappointed."
Davis returned from the disabled list Aug. 19 and played in 37 games the rest of the year, hitting six home runs and driving in 20.
For the season, he batted .227 with 10 homers and 28 RBI, alternating between first base and designated hitter.
"I know my market value isn't what it was a year ago," he said. "They know that, and I know that. I know people are going to have questions about my shoulder.
"I'm a straightforward type of person. I don't think I can be overly demanding. I don't think I can ask for anything outrageous. And, you know, I'm a principled person, and there are principles that don't include money. But I'm not going to underestimate myself either."
Davis, 30, was acquired in a trade last winter with the Houston Astros for Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling and Steve Finley and signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract to become the highest-paid Oriole.
Injuries have restricted him to 142 games the past two years. His health has become a major question in the marketplace.
Other first basemen on the Orioles' roster are Randy Milligan, Sam Horn and David Segui.