Manny Machado Rumors
Ubaldo Jimenez was introduced today by the Orioles, saying that he is looking forward to putting the "nightmare" of past inconsistency in the rearview mirror. Executive VP Dan Duqutte said that Jimenez was attractive to Baltimore because "he's been a proven, solid, dependable pitcher," and explained that he saw potential for new pitching coach Dave Wallace to help Jimenez maintain his form from the second half of last year. MLB.com's Britt Ghiroli has a full transcript from the presser.
Here's more from the AL East:
- Orioles young star Manny Machado is scheduled for a key visit with his doctor in the middle of March which could determine when he'll be ready to suit up, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (via Twitter). If he is cleared to play at that point, the hope is that Machado would be prepared for game action within the first few weeks of the season.
- Machado tells ESPN's Jayson Stark that being ready for Opening Day is last on his list of priorities: "That’s at the bottom of my list. It’s not even on my list, to be honest," says Machado. Instead, Machado and the Orioles are focused on making sure he's 100 percent when he takes the field. Says Machado: "When I’m ready, I’m going to be ready. And everybody’s going to know it. And that’s when I’m going to be out there with the team, whether it’s Opening Day or sometime in April."
- Red Sox DH David Ortiz and agent Fern Cuza met with club oficials today -- including representatives from the ownership group -- to discuss his contract status, reports WEEI.com's Alex Speier.
- Ortiz has not been shy about discussing his contract situation publicly, and the team has likewise consistently indicated a willingness to talk. Speier breaks things down from a baseball perspective, arguing that Ortiz has in fact expressed a willingness to give his team a legitimate discount. The notion of adding another year to his current contract at about the same annual rate ($15MM) is valuable, says Speier, because it keeps him off of an open market that could well pay him more. Though he is aging, Ortiz's bat has shown little sign of slowing, and he would surely draw real interest from a power-sapped free agent market. Even if the slugger takes a step back, says Speier, Boston's payroll situation makes the downside scenario a reasonable risk to bear.
- As for those payroll considerations, Red Sox principal owner John Henry said yesterday that the luxury tax may not be a firm line for the club going forward, as Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports. Though the club has "learned from" its experiences with major deals in the past, Henry said that the team is always looking for ways to leverage its "big-revenue" capabilities. Though he was somewhat unclear as to his reasoning, Henry said that "there's some reason to believe that [staying under the luxury threshold] may not be as important as we thought a couple years ago."
- Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano is considering retiring after the season, reports George A. King III of the New York Post. The 38-year-old said it will all come down to whether he feels healthy, but acknowledged the possibility that he could join teammate Derek Jeter in making this his last go-round. Soriano, who produced a .255/.302/.489 line with 34 home runs and 18 stolen bases in 626 plate appearances last year, will be playing out the final year of the eight-year, $136MM deal he signed with the Cubs back in November of 2006.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com feels that while there is a growing sentiment among some Orioles fans that Matt Wieters should be traded due to his declining offensive numbers, the backstop is part of the team's core and should instead be offered an extension. Melewski points out that Adam Jones was extended with two years of team control remaining -- the same amount of team control the Orioles currently hold over Wieters. He adds that Wieters is a durable clubhouse leader that is entering his prime years, all of which should factor into the team's desire to retain him. The x-factor that isn't discussed by Melewski is Wieters' agent, Scott Boras. Few Boras clients sign extensions prior to free agency, though notable recent exceptions include Elvis Andrus, Carlos Gomez and Carlos Gonzalez. More on the O's...
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Manny Machado's surgery to repair the medial patellofemoral ligament in his left knee will take place today. The projected four-to-six-week timeframe for his recovery will have him ready sometime between the beginning of Spring Training and the early portion of April.
- From within that same piece, Connolly writes that Jason Hammel is behind Scott Feldman, Nate McLouth and Brian Roberts on the Orioles' "priority to re-sign" list. Connolly's assumption is that Hammel will hook on with another team. I could envision him signing a similar contract to that of Feldman last offseason -- one year at $5-6MM with additional incentives based on innings pitched and/or games started.
- Lastly from Connolly, the out-of-options Danny Valencia figures to make the team in 2014 and could see more time in the field early on, depending on Machado's recovery. Connolly adds that despite Valencia's large numbers against left-handed pitching, a consistent DH who can get on base regularly will be an offseason priority for the Orioles.
After suffering an ugly-looking knee injury late this year, Orioles star youngster Manny Machado has decided to undergo surgery to repair the medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) of his left knee, the team announced. The club says that doctors anticipate the surgery will require four to six months to rehabilitate, which would seem to indicate that Machado could be able to return relatively early on in 2014. Indeed, both team and player expressed hope that the the 21-year-old will be ready to participate at full strength at some point in Spring Training.
For a Baltimore club that is hoping to make another run at the post-season next year, Machado's surgery will undoubtedly put a damper on expectations. More importantly for our purposes, it almost certainly eliminates the already-scant possibility that the club would entertain a trade of J.J. Hardy and move Machado to short over the coming off-season. Though Machado's long-term prospects as a middle-infielder remain unclear, the surgery could also make the club somewhat more inclined to explore an extension for Hardy, who will be eligible for free agency after 2014.
On a broader level, the timetable for Machado's return to actual game action is uncertain, and may remain that way over much of the off-season. If the O's believe that they will have him for the balance of the year, they could be more likely to continue the aggressiveness they showed before the trade deadline this year. Danny Valencia's 135 OPS+ in 170 plate appearances gives some hope that he can hold down the hot corner until Machado is ready for regular duty, or the club could utilize a player like Ryan Flaherty for a short while. Options such as these probably eliminate the need for a substantial new addition unless Machado's prognosis changes significantly.
The Orioles' playoff hopes are hanging by a thread after taking a four-game sweep in Tampa Bay but the greater concern to the team is the status of Manny Machado. In the seventh inning of Monday's 5-4 loss, Machado was running to first on an infield hit and suffered an ugly-looking left knee injury that caused him to be stretchered off the field. Machado will undergo an MRI in Baltimore tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage. If that wasn't enough bad news for the O's, Alexi Casilla is being examined for concussion symptoms after colliding with Nick Markakis on a fly ball.
Here are some items out of Baltimore and Washington...
- The Orioles should make a point to re-sign Scott Feldman this offseason, CSNBaltimore.com's Rich Dubroff opines. Feldman has pitched well since joining the O's and at a price of around two years/$17MM (originally cited by MLBTR's Steve Adams in his Free Agent Profile of Feldman), it's a good value for a team that has a lot of question marks in the rotation heading into 2014.
- Dan Haren doesn't figure he'll return to the Nationals next season and he's considered retirement, but the veteran righty tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson that he wants to keep pitching in 2014. "Retirement has crossed my mind a few times this year, but with the way the year has gone -- and the ups and downs -- I feel I have something left that could help a team win. I want to give it at least another year and go from there," Haren said. Haren has a 4.87 ERA over 30 games (29 starts) with Washington this season but he has a 3.57 ERA over his last 15 outings since returning from a DL stint. He said he'd prefer to pitch for a west coast team to be closer to his family.
- Randy Knorr, the Nationals' bench coach and top internal candidate to replace Davey Johnson as manager next season, is profiled by Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
Andrew Miller will require surgery to repair ligament damage in his left foot and will miss the rest of the season, Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters (including Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com) today. Miller had pitched well out of the Boston bullpen this season, posting a 2.64 ERA, 2.82 K/BB ratio and a whopping 14.1 K/9 in 30 2/3 relief innings, though control continued to be an issue for the southpaw as he issued 17 walks. With Miller out, the Red Sox could well look into some of the left-handed relief options available on the trade market.
Here's some more news from around the AL East...
- Also from McAdam, Red Sox owner John Henry said that the team had room to add payroll at the trade deadline, if necessary. "I can't see it being an issue," Henry said. "I suppose there might be some (larger) salaries that we couldn't take on, but it just doesn't come up as an issue." The blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last summer helped the Red Sox avoid any potential payroll tax issues and left the team with financial room to maneuver this year, Henry explained.
- Jacoby Ellsbury figures to be one of the top free agents of the 2013-14 offseason and agent Scott Boras will no doubt keep his client in the headlines this winter, but Ellsbury tells WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he and his agent haven't discussed the future as Boras has let Ellsbury just focus on baseball. Bradford also talked to notable Boras clients Michael Bourn and Stephen Drew about their own forays into free agency and how Boras dealt with their situations.
- The Orioles have avoided "the mega-contract business" since the Albert Belle signing, though CBS Sports' Jon Heyman wonders what the team will do to lock up Chris Davis and Manny Machado. Davis will go through the arbitration process for the second time this winter and is controlled through 2015 while Machado is controlled through 2018 and is still two years away from arb-eligibility. Davis, for his part, hasn't heard of any extension talks between the team and his agent, Scott Boras. While the O's have generally avoided big signings, I'd argue that the Adam Jones extension shows that the team won't hesitate to extend its key building blocks. A multiyear deal for Davis wouldn't be a surprise this winter, though the O's can probably wait for a year or two to explore an extension for Machado.
- A scouting director tells Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that his team considered Phil Bickford to be the top high school pitcher available in this year's amateur draft but the right-hander carried signability issues. "The family wouldn’t meet with us until 48 hours before the draft and they wanted $3MM," the scouting director said. The Blue Jays took Bickford with the 10th overall pick, a position that carries an assigned value of a little over $2.921MM, and since the team has saved a lot of bonus pool money, the Jays could afford to meet Bickford's $3MM asking price.
- We covered some Yankees items as part of a New York Notes post earlier today on MLBTR.
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.