The Orioles signed Manny Machado to a one-year, $519,000 contract renewal on Monday — standard operating procedure for a pre-arbitration player.
The salary is $19,000 more than the major league minimum and Machado also gets a $100,000 bonus for winning the 2013 Platinum Glove Award in the American League. But he is not celebrating.
According to beat writer Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, the young third baseman called the salary “disappointing” in a chat with reporters on Monday evening in camp. “I’d love to be an Oriole forever,” Machado continued. “I love the organization, I love the fans here. I love everything about this, and putting the uniform on every day. I just want to be treated fairly. That’s it.”
Mike Trout’s agent expressed a similar feeling of frustration last March when his client was renewed for just $510,000 by the Angels. But this is the agreed-upon system and it does reward players eventually.
Trout will be eligible for salary arbitration next winter. Machado becomes eligible heading into 2016.
Macahdo, 21, batted .283/.314/.432 with 51 doubles, 14 home runs, and 71 RBI in 156 games last season for Baltimore. He is hoping to be fully recovered from October knee surgery by Opening Day.
Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that Marlins pitcher Dan Straily has been suspended five games and Don Mattingly one game for throwing intentionally at Giants catcher Buster Posey on Tuesday in San Francisco. Straily plans to appeal his suspension, so he will be allowed to take his normal turn through the rotation until that matter is settled.
Everything started on Monday, when the Marlins rallied in the ninth inning against closer Hunter Strickland. That included a game-tying single from Lewis Brinson, who pumped his fist and yelled in celebration. Strickland took exception, jawing at Brinson who was on third base when the right-hander was taken out of the game. Strickland went into the clubhouse and punched a door, breaking his hand.
The next day, Giants starter Dereck Rodriguez hit Brinson with a fastball, which prompted warnings for both teams. The next inning, Straily hit Posey on the arm with a fastball, which led to immediate ejections for both him and Mattingly.
Neither Rodriguez nor Giants manager Bruce Bochy were reprimanded, which is ludicrous because it was plainly obvious Rodriguez was throwing at Brinson. But neither team had been issued warnings. Essentially, Major League Baseball is giving free reign for teams to get their revenge pitches in. Furthermore, Straily’s five-game suspension is hardly a deterrent for throwing at a hitter. The Marlins could simply give Straily an extra day of rest and it’s like he was never suspended at all.
Beanball wars are bad for baseball. It puts players at risk for obvious reasons. When players have to miss time due to avoidable injury, self-inflicted (in the case of Strickland) or not (if, for example, Posey had a hand or wrist broken from Straily’s pitch), the game suffers because it becomes an inferior product. That’s, of course, second behind the simple fact that throwing at a player is a tremendously childish way to handle a disagreement. When aimed intentionally at another human being, a baseball is a weapon. That’s especially true when it’s in the hands of someone who has been trained to throw anywhere from 90 to 100 MPH.
Commisioner Rob Manfred has spent a lot of time trying to make the game of baseball more appealing, such adding pitch clocks and limiting mound visits. He should spend some time addressing the throwing-at-batters problem.