Baltimore Orioles: When to extend Manny Machado and others?
Should the Baltimore Orioles begin the process of extending young players?
If there’s one thing that the Chris Davis situation has taught the Baltimore Orioles, it’s that extending your own players before they hit the free agent market is important. Now for the record (just as a sidebar), the Orioles tried on numerous occasions to extend Davis. However we all know that his agent, Scott Boras, was having none of that. So in that sense you have to give the O’s a bit of a pass there.
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That said, the Birds’ three most important young players in my view are Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, and Jonathan Schoop. So when should the Orioles begin negotiations to extend these players? I suppose we should back up for a moment; first off, should the Orioles extend these players?
In my view, the answer to that should be a resounding YES. Perhaps it’s not for whatever reason, however I would question why not if that’s how you feel. Nevertheless, it’s easy enough to say that they should extend all of these players now. But it’s easier said than done.
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Extending a player before his time is up probably saves a team some money. I don’t think there’s any question that the O’s got a good bargain on Adam Jones by signing him when they did. However from the player’s perspective, it also shows a willingness on the team’s side to commit to you. In an age and time when loyalty in any business can often be a one-way street, that says a lot.
In the Orioles’ case, it’s unrealistic to expect them to hit up and extend all three of the aforementioned players at once. Baseball is still a business, and that wouldn’t make good fiduciary sense. However perhaps if you get one here and one there, you find yourself in a situation where you can feasibly keep all of these players when their times come.
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Also keep in mind that the Orioles still routinely get asked about Gausman’s availability on the trade market. In saying that, I mean as recently as the winter meetings – and as far back as prior to him coming to the big leagues. There’s a part of me that understands that, but also a part of me that’s shocked at the audacity of teams to think they can pry someone of that talent away from another franchise.
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The situation with Chris Davis couldn’t have been helped, or handled any differently by the Orioles. But the best way to ensure they don’t have to go through it again in the coming years is to extend those three (home grown) players before their time is up.