Quick Hits: Cubs, Piniella, Orioles, Beltran, Scherzer

Cubs prospect Albert Almora declared 12 years ago his intention to become a major league star, Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune writes. "I'm a quiet kid, just go out and do what I have to do. I like to just shut up and not say anything, let my game do the talking. It has worked so far," Almora says. The Cubs took the outfielder sixth overall in last year's draft, and though Almora missed time this year with injuries, he's six for 10 with five runs and six RBIs in two Arizona Fall League games. On to more Saturday night links…

  • Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune spoke with former Stanford assistant coach Dean Stotz about A.J. Hinch, whom the Cubs are reportedly considering for their open manager position. While Hinch struggled during his previous tenure as manager of the Diamondbacks, Stotz, who coached Hinch in college at Stanford, praised his scouting and player development acumen and predicted that the next team that hires him "will be pleased."
  • The Mariners' purported interest in Lou Piniella for their manager vacancy was overblown, Ryan Divish of The News Tribune reports. A team source tells Divish that there was no "full-court press" to bring Piniella back.
  • Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun has more on Manny Machado's upcoming knee surgery, reporting that the Orioles initially hoped to rehab the tear to the third baseman's medial patellofemoral ligament but decided that doing so could result in a higher chance of an injury in the future. “The surgery is universally very successful in returning players back to play, including baseball players," Daryl Osbahr, the director of sports medicine research at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, commented.
  • The time may be right for Cal Ripken Jr. to accept a managing job outside of Baltimore, Peter Schmuck of The Baltimore Sun writes. Buck Showalter has a long-term deal in place as the Orioles' manager, providing cover from fan backlash for both the team and Ripken if the O's legend decides to manage another club. Ripken has been connected to the Nationals in recent days.
  • Mutual need for outfield production may lead to a bidding war between the Mets and the Phillies for Carlos BeltranDavid Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News says. The Mets have money to spend and will look to improve upon an outfield that posted the worst OPS in the NL, while the Phillies may target Beltran, a switch hitter, for their lefty-heavy lineup, Murphy says.
  • Cardinals President Bill DeWitt III discussed his team's success and the support it receives from St. Louis in an interview with MLB.com
  • The Tigers may have to decide between keeping Max Scherzer for one more year or signing Miguel Cabrera to a new extension, according to Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz has projected that Scherzer will make $13.6MM this offseason in his final year of arbitration. Recent reports suggest that the Tigers will consider trading Scherzer in the offseason.

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