Extend Jonathan Schoop
The Orioles will exchange arbitration figures with their arb-eligible players next Friday. Schoop, who made roughly $3.5 million in his first year of arbitration, is one of those. After an All Star and Most Valuable Oriole campaign, the 26-year-old second baseman is due for a hefty raise – maybe getting as much as $9 million in 2018. And he’ll have another year of arbitration eligibility next winter before becoming a free agent following the 2019 season. Hopefully, the Orioles have learned from the Manny Machado situation: This is the time you try to extend a player – two seasons before free agency. Given Schoop’s personality, work ethic and gigantic step forward in 2017, he seems like the kind of player/person to build around. I’m not sure what it would take, but you have to think Schoop, a young father who dealt with a serious knee injury in 2015, would be interested in long-term security, and a five-to-six-year extension (that buys out the last two years of arbitration) seems warranted. Plus, it sends a good message to the fan base, which won’t be thrilled with my No. 2 piece of business.