Manny Machado Rumors
Let's take a look at the latest news and notes on what could be the final day of the 2012 baseball season.
- Jim Leyland's future as manager of the Tigers is still unclear, tweets Tom Gage of the Detroit News. Before tonight's World Series game, Leyland said nobody puts a team together better than team President/CEO/GM Dave Dombrowski adding "hopefully he feels I'm the guy to manage it."
- The Orioles' most pressing needs for 2013 are a frontline starter, a second baseman, and dealing with the unsettled positions of left field and first base, writes MASN.com's Roch Kubatko.
- Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy are among the Orioles who could make a big step in 2013, according to Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com.
- The Indians should only trade Chris Perez if they feel Vinnie Pestano can replace him as closer, opined Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer as he delved into his readers' mailbag. Hoynes also believes Lonnie Chisenhall will be given every opportunity to be the everyday third baseman and Sandy Alomar, Jr. would have been the slam-dunk choice as manager, if Terry Francona hadn’t been so adamant about getting back in the dugout.
- In the wake of Shohei Otani's announced intention to pursue a MLB career rather than play in Japan, Japanese baseball officials are considering stricter rules for amateur players who want to do the same, reports the Associated Press (via the Boston Herald).
- Tom Kotchman denied he was forced out by the Angels insisting his decision to leave was due to a desire to find something closer to his Tampa-St. Petersburg area home, reports Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
- Congratulations to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, who was named the first female president in the 104-year history of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
- Manny Ramirez's quest to resurrect his baseball career has the slugger heading to the Dominican Republic in hopes of catching the eye of a potential suitor during a tryout for three Japanese teams, writes George A. King III of the New York Post.
Daniel Seco contributed to this post.
Wade Boggs reached the 200-hit plateau for the seventh consecutive season on this date in 1989. Boggs also became the first player in MLB history to collect both 200 hits and 100 walks in four consecutive seasons. Here are some links from the division in which Boggs spent his entire 18-year career...
- Manny Machado jumped from Double-A to the pennant race, but Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said the infielder “looks like a big leaguer,” Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Duquette indicated the Orioles are set at third base for 2013, saying Machado "looks pretty good to me."
- The Orioles “have interest” in retaining Mark Reynolds for 2013, Duquette said. If the Orioles decline Reynolds’ $11MMM option for 2013, they’ll have to determine whether to tender him a contract through the arbitration process. "We'll see how that shakes out," Duquette said.
- David Ortiz said his upcoming contract negotiations with the Red Sox are about respect, not just money, Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports. The designated hitter said a two-year deal would help him keep his focus on the field. "I think it’s easier for me not to be answering the questions you’re asking me right now the whole year," he said.
- Shi Davidi details Travis Snider's tenure in Toronto, including his clashes with former manager Cito Gaston, in a revealing feature at Sportsnet.ca. Within the piece Davidi reports that Snider once turned down a contract extension from the Blue Jays. The Blue Jays traded Snider to Pittsburgh for Brad Lincoln leading up to the July 31st trade deadline.
The Orioles announced last night that they will promote 20-year-old infield prospect Manny Machado to the Major Leagues. It seems likely that Machado, the third overall pick of the 2010 draft, will play third base in Baltimore. Here are the latest Orioles-related links...
- One rival general manager questioned the Orioles' decision to promote Machado, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports. "Just because he's better than Wilson Betemit doesn't mean it's the right move for the kid,'' the GM said. The GM acknowledged that Machado is “really good, one of the top ten prospects in MLB.”
- Orioles manager Buck Showalter recently made it sound like Machado was headed to the Instructional League this September, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes (Twitterlinks).
- Sherman suggests the Orioles could call on top prospect Dylan Bundy this September and use him out of the bullpen. Bundy, 19, was just promoted to Double-A after posting a 1.92 ERA with 11.0 K/9 and 2.0 BB/9 in 84 1/3 innings at Class A.
- ESPN.com’s Buster Olney points out that the Orioles have had to juggle their roster all season long. Executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette told Olney the Orioles have been “piecing it together” and relying on manager Buck Showalter to get the most out of the roster. Showalter said it helps that the Orioles are a professional, blue collar group “They really like each other. And they like to win," he said.
The Orioles will select the contract of top prospect Manny Machado before Thursday night's game against the Royals, according to a team press release. Machado, the third overall pick of the 2010 draft, is hitting .266/.350/.431 at Double-A Bowie this season. The 20-year-old was regarded as the 11th-best prospect in the game according to Baseball America's preseason rankings and moved up to the #9 slot in BA's midseason rankings.
Though Machado was drafted as a shortstop and has played all but five pro games at the position (three games at DH, two games at third base), it appears as though the O's will use Machado at third. Though J.J. Hardy has struggled to a .658 OPS this season, he has a firmer grip on the shortstop position than the defensively-challenged Wilson Betemit and Mark Reynolds have at the hot corner. It's a big surprise to see Machado called up this early, though with the Orioles in a pennant race, "if we can do something that makes us two inches better to have a chance to win the last 49 games, we’re going to do it," manager Buck Showalter tells MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (Twitter link).
The early call-up will put Machado in line to be arbitration-eligible after the 2015 season (though not Super Two-eligible) and able to hit free agency after the 2018 season at age 26, according to MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith. These calculations are based on Machado remaining in the majors, which Nicholson-Smith calls "a big if."
Zack Greinke made his first start in ten days last night in what might turn out to be his final start in a Brewers uniform. He allowed one run on three hits over seven innings against the Phillies, striking out five.
It’s looking increasingly likely that the Brewers will consider trade offers for the right-hander, who has drawn interest from the Rangers, Orioles, Braves, Angels, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Dodgers. Greinke earns a $13.5MM salary this year and will be in line for a considerably larger contract when he hits free agency a few months from now -- the Brewers have already offered him a nine-figure deal. Here are today’s Greinke rumors with the most recent updates up top:
- The price tag for Greinke is extremely high, interested teams told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The Brewers are said to have a particular interest in a top young shortstop, and a source said they asked the Orioles about Manny Machado, a request that was rebuffed.
- The Rangers, Angels, Braves and White Sox are most interested in Greinke, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). The White Sox want him badly and the Nationals are on the periphery of the talks at best.
- There’s an "excellent chance" Greinke will be dealt, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports. Many scouts watched his outing last night and some came away impressed. Greinke is said to admire the Angels and Braves organizations, Morosi notes.
- Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe hears that the Red Sox will not target Greinke (Twitter link).
- Greinke will be a big focus for the Braves, who are moving on from Ryan Dempster, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- Greinke says he enjoys playing in Milwaukee, but won't take it personally if he's traded, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “I don’t really look forward to being traded from this place, but it could happen,” Greinke said.
- The Red Sox had a scout watching Greinke last night, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports.
Here's the latest from ESPN's Jayson Stark...
- One official who spoke with the Marlins brass estimates that the odds Josh Johnson remains with Miami are "95 percent." The Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, White Sox, Blue Jays, and Royals have all checked in.
- Carlos Lee, Ricky Nolasco, Heath Bell, and Gaby Sanchez are all very available. Other than Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton will be the toughest player to pry away from the Fish.
- The Phillies have talked about trading Cliff Lee following the Cole Hamels extension and they haven't discouraged other teams from inquiring, but their game plan right now is to keep their trio of aces intact.
- Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton are good bets to be dealt and the Phillies will listen on Hunter Pence. They want multiple young big leaguers to plug holes at third base, in the outfield, and in the bullpen in return.
- The Dodgers are in on a number of starting pitchers, including Nolasco, Blanton, Kevin Millwood, and Jason Vargas in addition to Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. They've also checked in on outfield and first base help, including Victorino and Justin Morneau.
- Clubs have not been assured by the Cubs that Garza will make another start before the trade deadline due to his triceps issue. He's more likely to be dealt in the offseason.
- In the wake of acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, the Pirates are sending signals that they could trade away a starter like Jeff Karstens or Kevin Correia.
- The Twins' asking prices for Morneau ("pricey"), Denard Span ("more pricey"), and Josh Willingham ("it made me laugh") are high. Minnesota insists they will listen on anyone and Stark says Morneau is the bat they're most likely to move. Francisco Liriano is "nearly 100 percent" likely to be traded.
- The Orioles continue to look for pitching, someone they consider a number three starter or better. Garza and Vargas have their eye but Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado are off the table. They've gotten hits on Jake Arrieta but won't move him unless they get a similar young arm with several years of team control remaining in return.
- The Brewers will trade Randy Wolf "for nothing if you take the money," according to one official.
- The Rays have "got a big market" for Wade Davis.
- Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria may soon be faced with the question about selling at the deadline, something he wanted to avoid in the first year of the club's new ballpark. The best thing they could do to improve their farm system likely involves trading guys like Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante, and the newly acquired Carlos Lee.
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams always thinks big and it would not be surprising to see him get in on pitcher such as Zack Greinke. The problem is that his farm system doesn't have much to offer and they don't want to give up pieces off the big league roster while contending.
- The best guess right now has the Padres keeping Carlos Quentin and trading Chase Headley. Rosenthal says it's simple supply-and-demand; as many as ten teams have shown interest in the third baseman Headley. The team isn't sure they can get more for Quentin in a trade than they would by letting him walk as a free agent and recouping draft picks after the season.
- The Orioles are clearly buyers. They're willing to trade any prospect not named Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado, but they probably don't have enough to get Greinke. They do have interest in lesser arms like Joe Blanton and Jason Vargas, as well as leadoff man Juan Pierre.
- The Brewers could pit the Rangers and Angels against each other in the Greinke sweepstakes. Texas is unwilling to trade Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar, or Martin Perez for a rental, which could create an opening for the Halos if they're willing to deal Major League talent.
- The Phillies do not intend to trade Cliff Lee to create payroll room for Cole Hamels. If they do keep Hamels long-term, they could have $140MM tied up in just eight players going into next season.
It was on this day in 1997 that Roger Clemens struck out 16 Red Sox batters to lead the Blue Jays to a 3-1 win at Fenway Park. It was Clemens' first appearance in Boston since he signed a free agent contract with Toronto the previous winter, and there were some definite hard feelings -- Clemens punctuated several of his strikeouts with glances up towards the Fenway luxury boxes and then-Sox GM Dan Duquette.
Here's the latest from around the AL East...
- Speaking of Duquette, the current Orioles executive VP tells Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun that he is looking for a hitter with on-base skills to bat first or second in the Orioles' lineup. Connolly speculates that Shane Victorino could fit that bill though the O's would have to outbid several other teams if the Phillies made Victorino available.
- Duquette didn't completely rule out dealing a major prospect like Manny Machado or Dylan Bundy, but such a deal is very unlikely. "They can be really good major leaguers for a really long time,” Duquette said. “That’s the way I look at it. I don’t know that we want to send them to another ballclub for two months or 10 starts of a pitcher. I don’t think that’s the kind of trade we’d want to make. But we want to advance our team in the pennant race.” (Quotes courtesy of Connolly's Twitter feed).
- Evan Longoria's recovery timeline will "influence" what the Rays will do at the trade deadline, Andrew Friedman told reporters, including Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune (Twitter link). Longoria is expected back in August though the third baseman has already experienced one setback during his recovery from a torn hamstring.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters (including Sportsnet's Shi Davidi) that with Edwin Encarnacion's extension settled, the team can now focus on acquiring pitching. Anthopoulos also said he "didn't have any intention of trading" Encarnacion, though ESPN's Jayson Stark reported earlier today that the Jays were checking on trade interest in Encarnacion just last week.
- The Yankees have wrapped up negotiations with first-round draft pick Ty Hensley and are waiting to hear if the right-hander will accept their offer before tomorrow's draft signing deadline, reports Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger.
- The Red Sox are almost obligated to be active at the trade deadline, says ESPN's Tim Kurkjian during a radio appearance on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show. (WEEI.com's Morley Quatroche has a partial transcript.) “I think they’re going to have to be buyers because they’re the Red Sox,” Kurkjian said. “And they can’t give up on a season....The Red Sox have to go out and get somebody. They have to go out and get another starting pitcher, whether it’s Ryan Dempster or Zack Greinke. It’s going to take an enormous amount to do it.” Kurkjian also discusses such topics as Carl Crawford's injury, Bobby Valentine's managerial style and the mood in the Sox clubhouse.
- For most Boston-related material, here's a collection of Red Sox notes from earlier today, plus news about trade interest in the team's backup outfielders.
Midway through this year's 162-game schedule, all five American League East teams have winning records. The Yankees have the best winning percentage in baseball and the Orioles, Rays, Red Sox and Blue Jays have all won more games than they've lost. Here are the latest AL East links...
- Executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette estimates that the Orioles have had trade talks with "probably over half the teams," Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com reports. Duquette says he'd like to improve his team's rotation if possible. "We need to find a solution to our starting pitching," he said.
- Top prospects Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy are probably off-bounds in trade talks. “They look to be long-term solutions to help the Orioles," Duquette said.
- Dominican prospect Wendel Rijo agreed to sign with the Red Sox for $625K, Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Yankees signed fifth round selection Robert Refsnyder for $206K, Jim Callis of Baseball America reports (on Twitter). The right fielder has a good bat and a good arm, Callis adds.
- The Blue Jays announced that they signed 18th rounder Alonzo Gonzalez, 26th rounder Nathan Desouza and 37th rounder Daniel Devonshire.
Arizona general manager Kevin Towers says he’s been impressed by Mike Trout and Bryce Harper from an offensive and defensive standpoint, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. "They can beat you on the basepaths. They impact the game defensively,” Towers said. “They can beat you with key hits or the long ball. They're both very special." Here are Stark’s latest rumors from around MLB...
- One American League executive says the Cubs are basing their asking price for Matt Garza on last summer’s Ubaldo Jimenez deal. This means it’ll take two controllable, young players with upside to pry the right-hander away from Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein.
- Other teams say the Orioles are involved in the Garza talks. However, Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy aren’t going to be available in summer trade talks with any club.
- The Braves are looking for "an impact starting pitcher" and they’ve scouted trade candidate Jason Vargas extensively
- The Angels are desperate to add a really good bullpen piece and would dangle Peter Bourjos in the right deal, according to rival teams.
- One executive doesn’t expect Luke Gregerson of the Padres to become available, though there would be heavy demand if San Diego were willing to listen.
- Another executive suggests the Red Sox could trade Kelly Shoppach and call Ryan Lavarnway up from the minor leagues.
- The Twins continue to tell teams they expect to hold onto Josh Willingham.
- The Marlins are telling rival teams they haven’t discussed becoming sellers this summer. The Phillies also seem to want to add, not subtract. The Phils are considering a long list of relievers and have asked the Padres about Chase Headley.
- The Diamondbacks have “window-shopped” for bullpen depth, Stark writes. Towers says he prefers his current team, now 38-37, to the one that won the NL West a year ago.
- Stark also reported on the Blue Jays' approach to the trade deadline and you can read the details here.