Orioles Smart to Invest in SchoopPosted on October 10, 2013 by Ethan Felderstein
In late August, the Orioles got a look at the future.
The future hit for contact. The future hit for power. The future played good defense.
The future is second baseman, Jonathan Schoop.
Baseball analysts and experts seem to agree that the Orioles need to upgrade at second base. Oft-injured Brian Roberts is a free agent and even if he is signed, he isn't trustworthy for an entire season. Ryan Flaherty played for a while at second base, but his production just wasn't good enough to force Buck Showalter to put him in the starting lineup consistently.
Of course, there's another option to solve the second base problems. A big option that will probably cost $300 million. Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano will be a free agent this offseason. As always, rumors will link Cano to the Orioles because of their need for a big power bat and a second baseman. But like usual, a hefty salary should deter the Orioles front office from signing Cano.
Yet, there is no reason to re-sign Roberts or to hand the job to Flaherty or to sign a high-priced free agent. For the Orioles, the answer is right in front of them. Jonathan Schoop is the Orioles answer at second base for 2014.
Schoop doesn't have the hype that Machado had when he entered the league, and for good reason. He's two years old than Machado was when he entered the league and he has a different skill-set. But, the best thing that Schoop has is potential. Like Machado when he entered the league, Schoop will hit low in the lineup, possibly last. But with the ability he showed in late August, Schoop could move up in the lineup and make a difference in the Orioles' offense.
Lastly, for anyone assuming that Robinson Cano could be in orange and black in 2014: Don't count on it. Yes, imagining a lineup that goes Machado-Cano-Jones-Davis is fun, but a hefty price tag will drive away most teams. For the case for Ryan Flaherty to start at second base, the Orioles should come to their senses that he doesn't produce enough in their high powered lineup.