Bear in mind, this is a completely different question than whether or not a player should be publicly scapegoated based on steroid gossip -- which is closer to what we're doing on this board, no matter how much folks say "RedsZone doesn't matter."
I think if the Orioles were willing to move Davis right now that would send off red flags in it's own right, no? I know this was a completely hypothetical situation, but still.
"The guy I think could be really good in center is Adam Dunn. If someone asked me if Dunn could be a center fielder for the next 10 years, if he started working on it, no one could explain to me why he couldn’t do it." - Brad Kullman
That said, I don't think there's inherently more reason to suspect Chris Davis than any other player. Lots of players use them mostly to recover from injuries rather than to accentuate their on-field performance in some way. If Hal Morris used steroids, anyone can, so I'd probably be inclined just to have a standard operating procedure.
Forget about feelers, what about just factoring it into your decision, how many years/dollars to give him, what kind of clauses to add to contracts, etc?
You wouldn't make one extra phone call to a friend in the Orioles organization to try to be sure? Fair or not, he has already been mentioned with PEDs in several media articles. Many people fair or not, already suspect him.
I won't argue if you say yes. Just want to be clear on where you are.
When Neifi Perez (twice), Alex Sanchez and Ronny Paulino are known users and Andy Pettitte is an admitted one, I think it's pretty hard to have a measuring stick for who is and who isn't a user. As a GM, I probably wouldn't just trust my instincts or the eye test to know. I'd want something a little more than that.
In terms of the GM hypothetical... I find this very difficult to answer without knowing details. Who would the phone call go to? My guess is the guys who really know something in any organization about this stuff aren't going to be saying anything to potential trade partners.
As for the media..... no GM should care at all what they say about anything.