Brady Anderson says Orioles need to act sooner to extend contracts with own players

One important lesson to be learned from this offseason, according to one of the Orioles' top executives, is that the club needs to react quicker to wrap up players before they reach free agency.

At this juncture, though, there are no substantive contract extension talks with current Orioles, according to executive vice president Dan Duquette.


"The thing with the extensions, there's a time to address those in the offseason and that's something that's under consideration," Duquette said to a group of reporters during Saturday's FanFest at the Baltimore Convention Center. "But we're not moving on any of those right now."

The major storylines for the Orioles so far this month have been re-signing reliever Darren O'Day to a four-year, $31 million contract -- Duquette expects it will be announced soon -- and the seven-year, $150 million offer made to slugger Chris Davis which Duquette said has been rejected and taken off the table.


When asked whether the amount of money the Orioles were offering Davis surprised him, Orioles vice president Brady Anderson said no, because that's what happens when good players are on the open market. And that's something of which he and Duquette need to be more cognizant.

"That's a price any team pays when you let one of the players that you want become a free agent," Anderson said. "I went through it myself. It costs the team a lot of money when you do that. That's part of the problem and in a way how teams get into jams, specifically small- to mid-market teams like we are."

Anderson said teams tend to take their own players for granted because the good ones make it look easy. That needs to be addressed going forward, Anderson said.

"It can cost you millions of dollars. In Darren's case, that's what happened. In Chris Davis' case the same is happening," Anderson said. "And I would hope in the future we are a little quicker to react, especially on our own guys, and not let them become free agents if we really want them."

Normally the Orioles don't negotiate with players while a season is under way, but Duquette has made an exception for extensions with center fielder Adam Jones in 2012 and shortstop J.J. Hardy in 2014.

"The issue on in-season negotiations, we generally don't do that. The players don't like to do that. It's a distraction and the fans really don't want to focus on that during the season, so if you're going to sign these guys, there is a short window during the season," Duquette said. "But once they get to free agency, the market is what it is, and I think that's what really drives the prices."

During a question-and-answer forum with season-ticket holders Saturday morning, Duquette was asked about extending his own players, specifically 23-year-old third baseman Manny Machado, who can't be a free agent until after the 2018 season.

Duquette said keeping Machado long term is a goal. He added, "We've tried. … Almost got it done."


He was likely referring to talks he had with Machado's representatives before the 2013 season that didn't yield a result. He also spoke with pitcher Chris Tillman's representatives last offseason, but, again, an extension wasn't reached.