Orioles don't need to extend Trey Mancini, but they should - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles don’t need to extend Trey Mancini, but they should

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

This winter should be a happy one for Trey Mancini. He had his most complete season in the major leagues and was voted Most Valuable Oriole.

The trouble was that Mancini was the best player on a team that lost 108 games.

Mancini had an .899 OPS and improved in every offensive category.

After a difficult 2018, Mancini roared back with a .291 average, two points short of the .293 he hit in 2017 when he finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

This year’s OPS was above the .826 in 2017, and he set career bests with 35 home runs and 97 RBIs.

He also improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio. He drew 63 walks, nearly double the 33 in 2017, and his strikeouts dipped from 153 last year to 143 this past season.

Mancini is set to cash in, as well. According to MLBTradeRumors.com, he’s in line for a $5.7 million contract in his first season of arbitration eligibility.

He’s still three years from cashing in because he’s not eligible to be a free agent until after the 2022 season.

But will Mancini be an Oriole by then?

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This winter, Orioles general manager Mike Elias will have to listen to any suitor who calls about Mancini. If someone offers the Orioles a haul, he’d have to consider it, but it doesn’t seem as if the Orioles are eager to move him.

Elias doesn’t seem eager to extend him, either. I hope that Elias will reconsider.

Mancini is not just the best player on the team. He’s the best guy on the team.

In a most challenging season, Mancini embraced being the clubhouse leader.

After the Orioles’ worst defeat of the season, a 23-2 loss to the Houston Astros on August 10, there was Mancini ready to talk about it. It happened countless other times, too.

Mancini doesn’t offer empty clichés to hard questions, but intelligent, well-reasoned answers. He never carps about questions and always has original answers.

Despite an Orioles campaign to have Mancini chosen as an All-Star, pitcher John Means was chosen instead.

Mancini discussed the snub the next day, and offered his public congratulations to Means, who did deserve the nod, but also acknowledged that he was steamed about not being picked.

His honesty only increased his credibility.

Having your best player willingly accept responsibility is huge. That’s not the reason that Mancini deserves an extension, but it should make the Orioles feel good about offering one.

Having Mancini around for perhaps six more years is appealing. It’s possible by the end of his third year of arbitration, 2022, the Orioles could be much closer to being truly competitive.

It would be a shame to see the Orioles’ best player not see the rebuild all the way through.

However, Elias probably sees it another way. Currently, only Alex Cobb and Chris Davis are on multi-year contracts. Cobb runs through 2021 and Davis’ ends in 2022. Elias could prize the flexibility of not having any more future money tied up.

When Elias made his only major trade, dealing Andrew Cashner to the Boston Red Sox in July, the Orioles received two teenaged Dominican Summer League players in return.

Surely, Elias will listen to offers for pitchers Dylan Bundy and Mychal Givens and infielder Jonathan Villar. If he makes a move for any of the three, he might get a return similar to the one he received for Cashner.

But if Elias is serious about trading a 27-year-old power hitter just coming into his prime, he’d need an enormous return.

There’s no rush to market Mancini, and probably no rush to extend him, either.

However, it would serve as somewhat of a reward for the fans who attended games in 2019.

When Elias sent an email to season ticket-holders last year, he mentioned Bundy, Givens, Mancini and centerfielder Cedric Mullins.

Only Mancini met and exceeded expectations in 2019, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t continue to improve.

In September, Mancini had his best month, hitting .365 with a 1.049 OPS. With nothing for his team to play for, Mancini stood out.

The guess here is that Mancini will neither be traded nor extended this offseason, and in four months he’ll report to spring training in Sarasota, Florida ready for another season as the Orioles’ team leader.

The Orioles are lucky to have him, and should have him for many years to come.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Camden Brooks

    October 16, 2019 at 7:17 am

    I really hope they keep Trey. He is the face of the team…a class act.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 16, 2019 at 7:41 am

    So then Rich, if you want him extended, what are you willing to pay and for how long?

    If I’m the GM making an offer … I’m thinking Trumbo numbers. Somewhere in the range of 11-13 per year for 5 or 6 years. Let’s say 12 x 6 years for $72 million total. Does this get ‘er done in today’s market?

    • CalsPals

      October 16, 2019 at 7:48 am

      Agree w/your figures & I honestly think he enjoys being an O…go O’s…

    • Rich Dubroff

      October 16, 2019 at 11:39 am

      I think that would not get it done, Boog.

  3. douglasmintz

    October 16, 2019 at 8:04 am

    Treys a good player and seems like a quality guy. No reason t extend him unless it’s super team friendly.

  4. Fareastern89

    October 16, 2019 at 8:16 am

    What better mentor for the young players who will be arriving over the next few years? At some point the deleterious effects of cost-cutting will outweigh the long-term benefits. We can at least hope that Cobb returns to form and the O’s can trade his contract, and use that money to extend Trey.

  5. PC in OC

    October 16, 2019 at 8:27 am

    AMEN.

  6. Tony Paparella

    October 16, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Mancini is signed through 2022 so no need to extend at this point and he will be 30 years old then.Sometimes that is a turning point for players though that is certainly not a prerequisite by any means..Right now this is one hard nosed dedicated baseball player who should be kept on the team for as long as he continues to put up numbers.The other problem going forward if he continues to escalate his numbers you may not be able to get him in the fold for the numbers mentioned above.If he is traded they should hope to get better than a couple of 17 year olds for sure because as I said he is a quality MLB player in my estimation.

  7. Ekim

    October 16, 2019 at 9:39 am

    Remember… the game of baseball is a business… not personalities. It’s all about the $$$$$$$. Just saying…

    • VRTCPA

      October 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm

      Then the O’s attendance should be ZERO in 2020. If Elias intentionally wants to put a terrible product on the field and does not want to throw the fans a bone by signing Mancini the fans should tell him his business is to put a winning team on the field. And they (the fans) owe him and the O’s front office NOTHING until they do so.

  8. J Guy

    October 16, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Trey is a must keep

  9. Stephen in Shanghai

    October 16, 2019 at 10:21 am

    When I start hearing, “a reward for the fans” I know we’re in trouble with what comes next. I seem to remember this same sentiment when we signed Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo.

    Mancini is a class act and a very good baseball player. I am happy to have him on the Orioles. But, there are some simple facts. He’s 27 and a 1B/DH. These types of players are fairly easy to come by.

    The Orioles essentially have three options on him the next three years. They can continue to pay him according to his performance as laid out by the arbitration system. But why would the Orioles volunteer to trade that flexibility after only one year of a rebuild when so much is still unknown and the team is still trying to build a strong foundation?

    Sorry that I’m not overly emotional when it comes to these decisions. I’m glad that Elias seems to be leading the team in a calculated and rational way.

  10. Orial

    October 16, 2019 at 10:50 am

    I kind of approve of Elias’ approach so far and I’m sure there’s a reason for keeping his thoughts close to vest but an acknowledgement of Mancini’s future wouldn’t hurt. If Trey were some speed burning,defensive OFer it would be a no-brainer,but his skill-set fits the dime a dozen category. That being said–extend him but not till after the 2020 season.

  11. Greazy Tony

    October 16, 2019 at 10:53 am

    One of the things I’m happiest about with the new regime is that they won’t be swayed to sign a player just because the fans like him and he’s the kind of guy who talks to the media after a blowout. Honestly, that kind of thinking is deadly for a medium market team. Boston, New York and LA can all afford to make emotional decisions but with the economics of baseball in Baltimore the o’s can only give money to very high return players. I really like Trey a lot, and I would love to see him stay with the O’s beyond his arbitration years, but he’s definitely not the kind of player who you preemptively sign before they become a free agent.

  12. PA Bird Lover

    October 16, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    Trey is what 27. I certainly would do a 6 or 7 year deal. Remember Davis’s deal?

    • PA Bird Lover

      October 16, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      should be ‘wouldn’t’

  13. Bancells Moustache

    October 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Max Scherzer 35 years old.
    Stephen Strasburg 31 years old.
    Patrick Corbin 30 years old.
    Howie Kendrick 36 years old.
    Kurt Suzuki 36 years old.
    Yan Gomes 32 years old.
    Bryan Dozier 32 years old.
    Adam Eaton 30 years old.
    Anibal Sanchez 35 years old.
    Sean Doolittle 33 years old.

    Trey Mancini is not a running back. 27 is not old. Neither is 32. It just means you are on your second contract and Ivy League math whizzes cannot screw you out of your market value at the behest of a tightwad owner.

    FUN FACT: The team listed above still managed to get the best pitching staff money could buy and is headed to the World Series, all while being screwed out of the lions share of their largest revenue stream by a 108 loss Oriole team that cries poor every year, and has conditioned its fans to look at the list of Free Agent pitchers, immediately scan halfway down to the cheap, least mediocre option and say “guess that’s what all we can get”.

    • Bancells Moustache

      October 16, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      Sorry, just a little aggravated today.

    • ClayDal

      October 16, 2019 at 12:42 pm

      Chris Davis is 33. Alex Cobb 32, Mark Trumbo 33. Adam Jones was 33 last year. Zack Britton was 31 and Darren O’Day was 35. Ubaldo Jiménez was 33 and J J Hardy was 35 in 2017, their last season with the Orioles. The Orioles have signed players to contract extensions into their 30’s in the past. Doesn’t always work out. Besides the Nationals are in win now mode, like the Orioles were 2 years ago. Let’s see if they can hold on to Rendon and Strasburg. They weren’t able to keep Bryce Harper. Apparently didn’t hurt them that much

    • CalsPals

      October 17, 2019 at 7:47 am

      I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t of had the success they have had w/Harper, he’s a me guy, I’m sure Kapler loved having the prima Donna, most overrated player in MLB…go O’s…

  14. ClayDal

    October 16, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Who is Trey’s agent? Baseball Reference doesn’t say and they usually have that information. If Trey were to sign on with Scott Boras in the near future, that would be an indication that he will test the market after 2022. Most players will say they are happy where they are and hope to stay there( Even Reggie Jackson said that the year he was with the Orioles). Behind the scenes, we don’t know what they are telling their agents. Hopefully Trey will continue playing well, the Orioles improve, and both sides can agree on an extension

  15. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    Nobody answered my 1st post on this subject. (well Rich did say I was coming up light)

    So … I’ll ask again … What do YOU think Trey Mancini is worthy of, if you are extending in both $$ and years?

  16. Boog Robinson Robinson

    October 16, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    OK so Rich says that my theoretical offer to extend Mancini’s contract was coming up somewhat light. Heck, I thought my offer was being somewhat generous! (13 per season for 6 years totaling $78 million)

    So I’ll pose the question to the rest of y’all ….. What do you think Trey Mancini is worthy of, assuming you are intent on extending his contract in terms of both $$ and years?

    • NormOs

      October 16, 2019 at 4:12 pm

      I don’t think you can get him for 6 at 78mil. I’m sure I don’t know how they figure the arbitration money, but it seems to me that if his production even stays the same as this year his money will go up next year and the year after, so I’m figuring these next 3 years he would make in arbitration upwards of 30mil so IMHO 90 to 100 mil for 6 years. I have to admit that I also wanted them to waste the money on the “K Man”

    • cedar

      October 16, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      I agree with NormO’s. A “simplified” approach is to assume that the MLB qualifying offer as a bench mark for each year. In this way you are paying Mancini more for his early years and matching what he might get in what would have been his walk year and then saving some money on the tail end of the deal (assuming he continues to produce). So I would speculate that any long term deal has to reach $100 mil. The length of the deal being more negotiable. 5 or less years would favor Trey, 7 years or more favors the O’s. 6 may be your break even point.

  17. WorldlyView

    October 16, 2019 at 4:38 pm

    Could we just have Elias and Trey and his agent sit down for some informal talks to see if there is any meeting of the minds? At a minimum, that would show some good faith on the part of mgt.
    Switching gears, I am aghast at Rich’s suggestion that we could trade Dylan Bundy, or Mychal Givens or Jonathan Villar and “might get a return similar to the one he received for Cashner.” For the love of God, no more trading big-league-ready players for unproven teenagers who MIGHT be useful by 2024.

    • ClayDal

      October 16, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Mancini is arbitration eligible this year, so his agent and Elias have to negotiate his salary for 2020. Somewhere in their talks, the subject of an extension will probably get mentioned. If there is mutual interest and the dollar figures are compatible, maybe something gets done. At this point, both the Orioles and Mancini may want to take a wait or see approach. What was wrong with the Cashner trade? An average pitcher who would be a free agent in 2 months anyway for 2 youngsters who can help in the future. Would have preferred someone more advanced but better than coming up empty handed when Cashner leaves. Villar is a free agent after 2020, Bundy and Givens 2021. This is about the time you try to see what the trade market is for them

      • WorldlyView

        October 16, 2019 at 7:12 pm

        Fine. Trade all three of them for whatever warm bodies are offered. I would expect the results to be a major increase in losses in 2020, a major drop in attendance, an increased inflow of waiver-wire-wonders to fill a further depleted roster, and a spike in blood pressure among those of us who remember the O’s glory days.

    • ClayDal

      October 16, 2019 at 7:44 pm

      The Orioles were 54-108 with them-not exactly the 1927 Yankees. The Orioles future is in the minors. Or college and high school. Or in a sandlot in the Dominican Republic.

      • WorldlyView

        October 16, 2019 at 10:32 pm

        I agree with what you said. Still… Call me impatient and a fair weather fan, but I cannot abide enduring two, three or more years where the Orioles are way, way below mediocre, instead of just mediocre. And see the comment below: Mancini might rush to the exit as soon as he becomes a FA if more years of steadily losing has him yearning to sign with a winning team.

    • CalsPals

      October 17, 2019 at 7:51 am

      Unfortunately Mancini is witnessing all the dysfunction that many of our other younglings are, I said it before, they don’t look like they’re trying to win, sounds the wrong message to the others, they boogie somewhere else when they get the chance…go O’s…

    • ClayDal

      October 17, 2019 at 9:07 am

      Don’t quite understand all the negativity. After the disaster of 2018 (47-115), the Orioles decided to start over again. Elias is hardly a miracle worker who can snap his fingers and solve everything in less than a year. But there is certainly reason for optimism going forward. They are actually signing international players which they previously weren’t. They have upgraded the analytics department to try to keep pace with other teams. They drafted and signed their top pick to the largest signing bonus ever. 2 of the minor league teams made the playoffs. The minor league system overall is now ranked in the top 10 out of 30 ( credit to Dan Duquette’s last few drafts). Hays and Santander should be here for the full year next year. Mountcastle will be here soon. All those pitchers from Bowie this year if they keep improving could be here by 2021 at the latest. So they have a plan in place. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither will the Orioles

    • Camden Brooks

      October 17, 2019 at 12:04 pm

      Exactly.

  18. mcgooding

    October 16, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    This guy has done everything asked of him. A first baseman by trade, he learned to play the outfield, and I thought played it well enough. Although the media scrutinized his play. He’s twenty seven. My hope is that he gets traded to a team that could get him to the post season before his career comes to an end. If the Orioles get something in return, that would be fantastic. I hope that this kid doesn’t grow old and jaded with this rebuilding process!

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