Well, that new contract that Evan Longoria signed with the Tampa Bay Rays was a surprise to me. I guess if there was one player to lock up long-term for that franchise, it's Longoria.
But the Rays had Longoria under team control through the 2016 season. Why add six years to that? Maybe the Rays will be proven to have made a smart move here, but having a player under team control for the next four seasons seems like a very long time to me.
Wasn't there plenty of time over the next few years to get him signed to another deal? What if he gets hurt or, for some reason, there is a falloff in his play?
The Rays obviously see Longoria as a near sure thing and the face of their franchise, and they made an interesting move here, one that sure proves the player and team are very attached to one another. Good for them.
While Longoria is now under contract through 2022, the longest current O's contract is held by Adam Jones, who is signed through 2018 after he got a new deal in May.
Which Oriole should the club pursue next for a long-term deal?
Jason Hammel and Brian Roberts are under contract for just one more year, while J.J. Hardy, Jim Johnson, Darren O'Day and Nick Markakis are under contract for two years. Markakis' deal includes an option for 2015. Chris Davis, Nolan Reimold and Matt Wieters cannot be free agents for three more years, after the 2015 season.
I have written before that I think the Orioles can wait at least another year on Wieters. Sure, he seems like a player they are going to want to remain an Oriole for many years, but because he plays such a demanding position, why not wait another year?
Hammel provides an interesting case. If the Orioles are convinced that he is the pitcher they saw in 2012, maybe they try to buy out one or two of his free agent years and approach him about that this offseason.
Johnson might be the guy for the club to start thinking about extending. Then again, you really have to think long and hard about multi-year deals for relievers. But Johnson has shown me talent and durability over the last two seasons, not to mention the fact he is one of the clubhouse leaders.
Should the club approach Hammel, Wieters or Johnson - or any other players -this winter about a long-term deal?