Baltimore Orioles: Rumors about extending Jonathan Schoop
Most of the recent Baltimore Orioles Hot Stove rumors have revolved around Zach Britton and Manny Machado, especially since their free agency arrives at the end of the 2018 season.
But, in a refreshing new Baltimore Orioles Hot Stove rumor, Jonathan Schoop was the subject. And, the rumor was positive.
According to a Tweet from Jon Morosi, the Orioles front office has been talking to Schoop about a possible contract extension.
In a quiet early Hot Stove, this rumor is seriously good news, but the good news did not last as Morosi wrote a short thread about the rumor. The problem with the possible extension is the fact that there are so many other players with more pressing contract needs.
Schoop made $3.475 million in 2017. He is currently in his second year of arbitration and after his first All-Star season, he is expected to see a pay increase. For comparison, in Machado’s second year of arbitration (2017), he made $11.5 million. Schoop and Machado were neck-in-neck throughout the entire 2017 season when it came to offensive stats. So, there is no reason to believe that Schoop could have a sizeable raise.
The big question remains about where the Orioles should focus their spending. The infield is solid for 2018 with Machado, Schoop, Chris Davis, and Tim Beckham. Offensively, Davis is entering the season as the weakest link and Beckham is the weakest defensive link. But, that infield would certainly be envied by several teams. Davis is tied up through 2022, Beckham is cheap, and Schoop has a few years left. Should the O’s focus on Schoop while Machado’s walk year is on the horizon?
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Then, there is the question of Adam Jones and Zach Britton. These franchise players could also be leaving in the fall of 2018. Is it time to make Schoop the face of the franchise? Will he want to stay with the team if Machado leaves? Is a five-year $70 million contract good enough for one of the best second basemen in the game?
The other big question about the end of the 2018 season is what will happen to the front office. Keep in mind, top players are not the only Orioles who will be without contracts when the 2018 season ends. Will Buck Showalter be offered an extension? Will Dan Duquette?
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With so many questions on the horizon, it seems like an odd situation for the Orioles to be talking to a player who still has so much time left under team control. Shouldn’t they be talking to Machado, Jones, or Britton instead?