Baltimore Orioles: Is Manny Machado putting up barriers?

Before I get to Manny Machado, I want to mention that the Baltimore Orioles’ annual FanFest celebration yesterday was a rousing success. The Baltimore Convention Center was packed with people from the beginning of the event until the end, all enthusiastic about the upcoming baseball season. And the Birds have learned to expect nothing less of their fans for this event. There as a palpable excitement around the Inner Harbor all day, which is a good sign!

Not much news usually comes from these types of events, however Manny Machado did make an interesting comment when asked about a contract extension that I caught (quote courtesy of Steve Melewski, MASNsports):

You know, I mean, I’m up for it. I’d rather win a ring than sign a long-term contract. They are doing the right things to put the right pieces in the right direction. When the time comes, I know they are going to come up and try to get something done. For the meantime, we’re just trying to put the best 25 guys on the field.

I want to be fair to Machado, first and foremost. Prior to saying this he said that the Orioles were the only team he’s ever known, and that he’d like to remain with the Orioles. However in saying he’d rather win a ring than sign long-term, what’s he really saying?

One might interpret that as suggesting that he’s going to sign with a team he believes has the most chance of winning a title when the time comes. On one hand, one can’t really blame him. However does that mean that if a team such as the Chicago Cubs are interested when the time comes, he’d go there instead of staying here?

If you read into that quote, then I suppose that’s exactly what he’s saying. But again, let’s be fair to Machado; he also did say that he wanted to stay here. In reality, hisdiscourse on a contract extension was more a long version of your typical responsee of I’m just going to play the game and let my agent handle it than anything else. But often when you give the long version of answers you leave your words open to interpretation.

Furthermore, it’s also interesting to note at this time that when the Orioles drafted Machado he was hesitant to sign. It came down to the wire, and he almost opted not to sign with the Birds. At the time of course, the Orioles weren’t a very good team or organization. Machado wanted to be a part of a winner, as it appears he still does. Again, one can’t really blame him there. But what I’m saying is that his comment in passing yesterday was consistent with what he’s said and done in the past.

Again, nobody can blame the kid for wanting to play for a winner. And as always, there are two ways to look at this; it could actually benefit the Orioles if you think about it. What if he’s offered a HUGE contract elsewhere, but at the end of the day it’s a franchise that’s not quite where the Orioles are now – just to throw a team out there, let’s say Tampa. If he’s true to his comments above, he’ll stay with the Orioles.

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