Will the Baltimore Orioles offer Manny Machado an extension in 2016 and keep the spending going?
The Baltimore Orioles have spent a lot of money this Off-Season, the most in MLB, to the tune of around $250 Million. Baltimore has been in buy-mode and displayed they’re adamant about keeping the core guys around. So what’s next on the agenda? Could this be the year we see them negotiate a contract extension with rising star Manny Machado?
Speaking of the off-season, Major League Baseball saw a trend that was reminiscent of when I was young. Finally, ball players were resigning with their respected teams, at a rate we haven’t seen in many years. I am personally a huge fan of that kind of loyalty. Could you imagine watching Cal Ripken Jr play with any team outside of Baltimore? If he were playing in this era it would be a more likely scenario.
At the end of the 2015 season, the Orioles ownership and management stressed the importance of keeping the core guys together but most fans didn’t find it fathomable. I remember watching interviews with Duquette and Showalter, thinking to myself, “There’s no way Baltimore can afford to keep Chris Davis, Matt Wieters, Darren O’Day, and Wei-Yin Chen”. Chen left but the core guys remained. Baltimore had effectively proved they players are part of a family and we’re worth spending the money on.
I may not like our new inter-league adversaries, the Kansas City Royals, but they did prove what can be accomplished when you build a team around a core family of guys that all want to accomplish a goal together. They have to be the most loyal team I’ve seen in years. So this year I’m hoping the Orioles continue to follow suit and break our 32 year World Series drought. If this happens, I couldn’t imagine a better way to validate the importance of players staying with their existing organizations.
Along the same lines, the loyalty we’ve seen, from players and teams alike, throughout the Off-Season is being taken to an greater extant and starting yet another trend, core player extensions. It started with the Marlins signing Dee Gordon to a 5-yr $50 Million dollar extension, then we saw Kansas City extend not one but 3 core players (Cain, Moustakas, and Perez), and more recently Kolten Wong signed a 5-yr extension with St. Louis.
There are obvious benefits for an organization by extending a player prior to their availability to free agency. In my opinion, none more important than proving to fans that the organizations are loyal to them. Without fans there is no MLB. We pay the way for the greatest game on earth and as a fan I take a deep pride in this. That’s why I make it a point to go to as many games as possible, buy memorabilia, and support my team in any way feasible.
It seems that this year more than any, ownership has gone out of their way to open their wallets and keep the family together. Now we’re seeing all these extensions throughout the league, it begs the question, will Peter Angelos continue to be generous and offer our star third baseman, Manny Machado, a long term contract extension? Could you imagine seeing him in another jersey?
The 23-yr old, two time All-Star, Manny Machado had a breakout season last year, hitting for average with a career high .286, and for power, hitting 35 bombs which is also a career high. He has amazing defensive ability, winning two Gold Gloves, in 2013 (also winning the AL Platinum Glove) and in 2015. Like a fine wine, Machado has proven to get better with age and I highly doubt he’ll be slowing down any time soon.
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Manny is making $5 million this year, $4.52 million more than he did in 2015, and will become a free agent after the completion of the 2018 season. Most likely he will see another hike in payroll once he files for arbitration at the end of the season. So should Baltimore preemptive strike and follow Kansas City’s lead? It would make more sense than going through another arbitration negotiation just to end up paying him nearer to the $10 million dollar mark anyway. He’s expressed great interest in staying in Baltimore, so they should just make the process easier on everyone involved.
If Baltimore waits until the end of the year that price tag could become even more expensive. Barring injury, it’s most likely Machado will continue to progress this year as well. Following his trend, I predict Machado will finally see his first .300+ Avg. year, hit 27+ HR’s, while maintaining his .500+ Slg. % and .800+ OPS.
If Baltimore is able to come to an agreement with Machado and his agent Dan Lozano, we may see our own 5-yr $60 million dollar extension. This would continue with the theme of loyalty and avoid the drama of arbitration or even worse, free agency. The thought of Machado in another jersey makes me sick so I’d like to think I speak for all Birds fans when I say, Baltimore needs to lock Machado down in a franchise fashion.