Does Manager of the Year equal contract extension for Showalter?

Does Manager of the Year equal contract extension for Showalter?
November 9, 2012, 11:15 am
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Buck Showalter is the favorite to win the American League Manager of the Year Award when it's announced on Tuesday night. He's also likely to soon receive a contract extension.

When Showalter came to Baltimore in Aug. 2010, he received a contract for the rest of that season and three more. After the Orioles' spectacular performance in 2012, a contract extension for Showalter was well-deserved.

Orioles managing partner Peter Angelos was asked about a contract extension for Showalter after Game 5 of the American League Division Series.

"Nobody's more interested in keeping him than I am.  And certainly I speak for everyone in the organization," Angelos said.

The next day, Showalter brushed away contract talk, saying that he had a contract for 2013 and an extension wasn't an issue.

Since then, Showalter won The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award, and along with Chicago's Robin Ventura and Oakland's Bob Melvin, is a finalist for the Baseball Writers' award.

Should he win it, Showalter will become just the second manager to win three American League Manager of the Year Awards.

Angelos doesn't want to lose him.

Showalter is an enormously popular manager, with his players and the fans, who view him as a symbol of the team's rebirth.

Even if the Orioles regress slightly next season, Baltimore fans have a long memory, and Showalter will continue to be well-regarded.

Even if there is that regression, the long-term prospects for the Orioles are good. Wei-Yin Chen, J.J. Hardy, Jim Johnson, Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, Manny Machado and Matt Wieters are all under club control for the next two seasons, some longer. With Dylan Bundy a probable addition for next season and beyond, surely Showalter and the Orioles will want to continue.

If Showalter is awarded Manager of the Year on Tuesday, an announcement of an extension could come with it or not long afterward.

A two or even a three-year extension would be wise, if both sides are willing. Dusty Baker signed a two-year extension after Cincinnati won the NL Central.

Showalter managed three years in Arizona and four seasons each in New York and Texas. If he receives a two-year extension, he could manage through the 2015 season when he's 59.

A man of enormous energy, Showalter has not yet managed in a League Championship Series, and three more years with the Orioles gives him three more legitimate chances.

With some more good seasons, he'd secure his legacy as one of the better managers in baseball history. The Orioles haven't had anyone manage more than four seasons since Earl Weaver retired for the first time 30 years ago. Now, Showalter should be able to do that.

NOTES:

-The Toronto Blue Jays have not asked for permission to interview third base coach DeMarlo Hale for their manager's job. Hale, pitching coach Rick Adair and batting coach Jim Presley are not under contract for next season. Bench coach John Russell, first base coach Wayne Kirby and bullpen coach Bill Castro all have contracts for 2013. All six coaches are expected to return.

-Jason Hammel's surgically repaired right knee, which troubled him through much of the 2012 season, is doing well. Nick Markakis, Nolan Reimold and Brian Roberts' recoveries are proceeding nicely according to an industry source.