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Orioles Notebook: Three Existential Orioles Questions

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In this week’s edition of the Orioles Notebook I ask three existential Orioles questions for you fans.

Oakland Athletics v Baltimore Orioles - Game 2 Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

If you think about the Orioles as much as I do, and chances are if you’re reading this at 11:00am on a Thursday you probably do, from time to time your mind can wander from this season. The day to day grind of a season, especially one in which the Orioles are piling up the wins, dominates the daily thought process of a fan base. Yet, some questions can creep in from time to time about the future of the team.

What will it look like in a year, three years, five years? So, I have three existential Orioles questions. I will attempt to work through some of them and I hope some of you attempt to answer them down in the comments.

Is there a Manny Machado extension that you would not want?

Come 2019, Manny Machado will be eligible for free agency. With only two and half seasons left of team controlled years for the Orioles, fans have to wonder if the team will be able to keep the superstar around. It could get very expensive.

The extension Manny wants is reportedly in the $400 million dollar range. Being that he’ll still be very young at the time of the extension it could also last for a decade plus. Furthermore, if the current trend of contracts continues, it is likely that Machado would ask for at least one opt out in his deal in order to maximize his potential earnings.

Is there a number that is too high? Too many years? Maybe not enough years? The $500 million number has already been floated for Bryce Harper, is that too much for Manny? Last season I attempted to figure out what an extension might look like. Those numbers have undoubtedly gone up.

I was at a game recently and at least half of my section had a Machado shirt or jersey on. He is clearly a fan favorite if not already THE fan favorite. Peter Angelos just this past off season backed up the brinks truck for a fan favorite—if not a personal favorite—Chris Davis.

While the commitment to Davis is much lower, the talent is much higher with Manny. The knee injuries have to worry you when you’re talking about commitments in the hundreds of millions. At this point though, I can’t see a deal that would really scare me off. Manny is great and has a shot to be a hall of famer and it would be awesome if he did all of that as an Oriole.

Who is most likely to be an Oriole after 2018: Adam Jones, Buck Showalter, or Dan Duquette?

The contracts of Adam Jones, Buck Showalter, and Dan Duquette all end after the 2018 season. Adam Jones has been an Oriole since 2007. He is a five time all star, the face of the team, and the team leader as currently constituted. He’ll be 33 after his current deal ends.

There will most likely be some baseball left in Adam Jones at that point and he’ll be coming off a year in which he’ll have made $17 million. My guess is that any extension will not come cheap.

Buck Showalter joined the Orioles in 2010 which means by 2018 he would have managed the Orioles for nine seasons which is an eternity in modern baseball. He’ll be 62 years old at the end of the 2018 season. His time with the Orioles has also coincided with their best run in the past decade and a half. He is also a fan favorite and seems to hold some sway with the owner, but that could just be perception.

Dan Duquette has been with the Orioles since 2012 which has exactly corresponded with their rise out of the depths. He’s also been the subject of numerous rumors about looking out for a higher up job in another organization.

The easy way out of this question is that Duquette’s and Showalter’s fates will likely be decided in 2017 or early in 2018 because managers and general managers typically do not work on one year deals. But, if I had to say I’d guess Showalter. Either as the manager or in the front office.

The career of Jones at 33 could definitely be in doubt and if the extension is expensive there are some other players (Manny Machado) that any money Jones might get could go to. Also, Duquette has already shown a possible interest in finding a higher up job in another organization and Brady Anderson is being groomed to assume Duquette’s role.

Do the Orioles ever try to leave Camden Yards?

This question is a little more fun, but every time I go to a game I think about Camden Yards being around for 100+ years. I think a few things are in it’s favor. One, it is modern enough that it can be updated to accommodate the tastes of the time.

Two, it is pretty well located for all types of transit so it is unlikely to become inaccessible. Three, it is beloved and largely still considered to be among the best stadiums in baseball more than 20 years after being built. I think there is a good shot that as long as there is a baseball team in Baltimore they will be playing in Camden Yards which is pretty cool.