Baltimore Orioles Rumors: Manny Machado open to long-term deal

May 12, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) singles in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Baltimore Orioles won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
May 12, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado (13) singles in the sixth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Baltimore Orioles won 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports /
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Manny Machado would love to stay with the Orioles long-term but it’s up to the Orioles to make it happen.

The Baltimore Orioles are blessed to have a very special talent in Manny Machado. Ever since he made his major league debut against the Kansas City Royals on August 9, 2012, Orioles fans knew that they had a keeper in Machado. Even the most optimistic of Orioles fans couldn’t have seen that Machado was going to be a legitimate American League MVP candidate as early as 2013 and arguably the early run away favorite in 2016. 

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Keeping talent like Machado is always extremely difficult. The Orioles will have to pay a ton of money to keep Machado in black and orange. If they don’t keep him, that will severely damage the goodwill that the Orioles front office has built with their fans and could cripple attendance for years to come. It would also leave a huge hole in the infield and would leave fans questioning recent front office decisions. However, Machado is definitely open to a long-term deal and would love to stay in Baltimore.

I hope [I can stay here],” Machado said, via the Baltimore Sun. “Obviously, I came up with the organization. I’d love to stay with the organization, but that’s out of my hands. The only thing I can do is do what I’m doing now… I’d love to stay here. This is all I know. This is all I’ve known about. I bleed orange.” 

Just because Manny Machado would love to stay here, that doesn’t mean that the Orioles aren’t going to have to pay him like the elite player that he is. The closest comparable contract could be Robinson Cano. Cano signed a 10-year deal worth $240 million with the Seattle Mariners back in the 2013 offseason. Entering the 2013 offseason, Cano had accumulated a career WAR of 35.8 in nine seasons with the Yankees.

Manny Machado has already accumulated a career WAR of 17.8 as of May 16, 2016. He will be a free agent after the 2018 season. By that point, his career WAR will likely be over 30 despite only playing in seven seasons (including at most five full ones). So Cano’s contract is likely going to be the starting point.

Factor in Machado’s age (26 in 2018 compared to 30 for Cano) and the positional value of a Gold Glove third baseman and Manny Machado will easily top $24 million per season. It likely won’t take $30 million per season, but somewhere in the $27.5 million per season range sounds about right. Even if it does cost $30 million a season to extend him, Manny’s worth every penny of it, especially since he has put his knee injuries behind him.

Related Story: Is A Machado Extension Possibly Coming Soon?

If the Orioles want to contend long-term, they need to find a way to keep Manny Machado. Worth noting is that Adam Jones‘ contract ends after the 2018 season. That certainly helps. So does the deferred money given to Chris Davis. But the Orioles have no excuses if they can’t keep Machado. They have time to plan for his huge contract.