Peter Angelos, for all of the winning his Baltimore Orioles have done over the past two seasons, is one of the least liked owners in sports. His team’s fanbase is still leery of the guy that oversaw 14 straight losing seasons immediately after firing Davey Johnson. The extended fanbase (D.C. area fans that supported the team between the birth of the Texas Rangers and the death of the Montreal Expos) has almost entirely abandoned the birds due since the Nationals arrived. So it takes some kind of strange logic to think Orioles fans would ever side with their owner in a contract dispute with a homegrown star. It takes something else for that to seem like the most logical point in a post about Manny Machado’s contract situation currently on dispaly at Yahoo!
David Brown has created something of a master class in yellow sports journalism. Just try to make a better controversy out of literally nothing the way Brown does here. Good luck.
Manny Machado’s contract situation is this: there is no situation to report. If he is already griping about his contract a mere 5 seasons away from free agency it could bear watching. But the actual report in the Baltimore Sun is that Machado is disappointed in a contract that he signed under baseball’s rules of team control. The disappointment is, one would assume, more related to Mike Trout’s recent payday with the Angels more than it is any comment on dealing with the Orioles. From the team’s perspective, Machado has to prove he can bounce back from injury, show some interest in a long-term contract, and put up one of the greatest offensive seasons in the history of the game to be on equal footing with Trout. Which all seems easy enough to me.
Machado has played 207 games in the big leagues and the last one he played in ended for him with a potentially career-diverting injury. All the reports coming out of Baltimore have Machado progressing quite nicely in his rehab, ahead of schedule by a good bit. In spite the presence of better offensive threats in the lineup and several elder statesman on the club, it seems that as the young third baseman goes so go the Orioles. Machado embodies the Orioles defensive philosophies, both currently and historically. He’s seen as the next in the line of greats following Brooks Robinson and Cal Ripken, Jr. on the left side of the infield for Baltimore. He is one of the best defensive players in the game. He’s not Mike Trout, though. And most indications are that, aside from his ridiculous level of production in 2 seasons on the Angels, Trout’s widely reported million-dollar contract is just a prelude to a bigger money contract for the star outfielder.
Machado’s contract is a standard one-year, pre-arb contract that clubs spit out to every young player they have. Machado actually got a little bit of money over the market set for his service time. Manny is a key player who will probably get better and better for the next several seasons. If he wants more money right now his agent could go the Orioles and propose a five- or six-year extension to give the player some security and the club some savings over his sure to be high arbitration numbers. Failing that, Machado should just wait out his non-arbitration years and come back for increasingly huge one-year deals until 2018. There is no reason to believe there are hard feelings between the player and the club. And there is no reason to call the Orioles on the mat for not giving out money at random. Manny will break the bank and all of that money will make him forgive Peter Angelos for all of the transgressions imagined by David Brown.