I have to admit, I was a bit surprised to hear yesterday that Manny Machado wasn’t satisfied with his current contract terms. From the perspective of Baltimore Orioles fans, it was probably a bit dismaying as well. Machado has always come across as a kid that was more interested in what’s happening on the field more so than off it. However in fairness, he’s been the talk of the league since he came up in August of 2012, and he’s only set to make $19,000 more than the $500,000 league minimum. He’s also seeing plenty of guys in his age bracket getting extensions long term, or at least seeing them talked about.
While I would submit that players talking about their salaries in public is never a good thing, the
good news for the O’s is that Machado also said he’d like to stay in Baltimore. So that very well might have been Machado speaking through the media to the effect that he has no urge to test the market at this point; he wants to remain with the Orioles. Fans might remember that the Orioles were criticized for drafting Machado because at the time he was a Boras client and the thinking was that Machado wouldn’t sign. However the Orioles got him signed by the deadline, and got him assigned to a minor league team. (For the record, he’s no longer a Boras client.)
While Machado might well have a point in the fact that his contract is on the low side, it’s also worth mentioning that if the recent past is any indication the Orioles will take care of you if you produce. Adam Jones‘ current contract, which he signed in 2011, is a perfect example. So the Orioles themselves are playing this right. In fact, I would submit that teams such as the Braves are doing it all wrong. Contracts should be signed and negotiated based on production, not necessarily potential. A young prospect that gets a massive contract extension could easily have that contract turn into dead money – in fairness, it could also work out.
Ultimately I believe that Machado was merely stating that he wants to stay in Baltimore long term. However I’m sure the Orioles would rather he make those comments behind closed doors as opposed to in the national media. Machado is also getting a $100,000 bonus this year for winning the Gold Glove at third base last season, money that does not count towards his annual salary. The fact is that in today’s world it’s probably easy for a young kid to see dollar signs in his eyes when his contemporaries are all making massive amounts of money. Let’s be fair about this however; this is hardly Terrell Owens giving a presser in his front yard saying that he has to feed his family, or Patrick Ewing saying that athletes spend like millionaires. But the Orioles need to nip this in the bud now, because the last thing they want is a player negotiating through the media with them. Especially if that player is the face of the franchise’s future.
Matt Wieters was removed from yesterday’s 6-5 loss to Boston after turning his ankle at third base. Buck Showalter said that it was largely out of caution, and so that Wieters could ice his ankle to avoid swelling. There’s a chance that Wieters will miss today’s game against Philadelphia, and odds are he wouldn’t have played in Thursday and Friday’s road games anyways.