The Baltimore Orioles have put the discussions for extending its players on the back burner this offseason. Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the team is “preoccupied with drumming up potential trade partners” and surveying the hot stove landscape for “affordable free agents.”
Machado, 25, has already proven himself as one of the league’s top hot corner specialists. Machado played under an arbitration contract in 2017 that was worth $11.5 million. Entering his final year of arbitration, he expects to make a bit more during the 2018 campaign.
In 2017, Machado faced a bit of adversity, only hitting to the tune of .259, with an on-base percentage of .310 and a slugging percentage of .471. Despite displaying the worst batting average of his career and a mediocre on-base percentage, Machado still managed to be a big bat in the Orioles’ lineup, as he slugged 33 home runs out of Camden Yards and drove in 95 runs, which was one off his career-high of 96 runs batted in that he posted in 2016.
To go with his big bat, Machado plays stellar defense at third base, as he boasts a career .968 fielding percentage at the hot corner and is the owner of three Gold Glove awards.
Adam Jones, 32, will enter the final year of his six-year, $85.5 million contract extension that he signed with the club back in May 2012, which was a club record for the club at the time. Much like Machado, Jones provides a hefty bat to the team’s lineup, as the slugger batted .285 in 2017, his highest mark since the 2013 campaign.
Jones has also gone seven-straight seasons of hitting 20 or more home runs, as he hit 26 of them, all while driving in 73 runners. His glove, much like Machado, is also golden, as he owns four career Gold Glove awards.
It will be interesting to see what approach the Orioles take this offseason; however, the team does have almost $61 million dedicated to their 2018 payroll. While an extension for both players is plausible, it still remains to be seen if the team decides to move forward with their plans or let both Machado and Jones walk into free agency.