Extend Jonathan Schoop
This originally was written before the Orioles and second baseman Jonathan Schoop exchanged arbitration figures, before the infamous Fanfest no-show and before the two sides agreed to a one-year, $8.5 million deal to avoid an arbitration hearing. These past six weeks have not exactly been a positive blueprint for labor-employee relations. And we’ve learned there have been no discussions about an extension for Schoop. I had this as my No. 1 priority for a reason and it remains such; the Orioles should not – and I stress, should not – allow Schoop to become Manny Machado 2.0 when it comes to his contract situation. We lump Machado and Schoop together, because they are best friends and have made their baseball journey together. But they are their own men. Because Machado does something doesn’t mean Schoop will or will not do it. Still, the Orioles should have learned from not negotiating with Machado a few years back. Orioles vice president Brady Anderson made that point earlier this year. The Orioles missed their window of negotiation with Machado, and it is tough to get that back without breaking the bank. That same window is closing with Schoop, who becomes a free agent after the 2019 season. How much will it cost to sign him to an extension this year? I dunno. But I know two things: 1. The Orioles should find out now. 2. The price will escalate much higher if he replicates his 2017.