Manny Machado Rumors
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.
Here are some links from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- Scott Boras told reporters (including WEEI.com's Rob Bradford) that a "couple of teams" have inquired about J.D. Drew during the season. "I've got no indication from him a desire to return," said Boras of the outfielder, who has been at home. "But then again I haven't addressed the issue with him, if he's done anything formally."
- Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com reports (on Twitter) that clubs keep asking the Orioles for top prospects Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado in trade talks. Needless to say, those two are as close to untouchable as it gets.
- The Blue Jays promoted Andrew Tinnish to assistant GM, reports Bob Elliott of The Toronto Sun (on Twitter). Tinnish had been the team's amateur scouting director.
The depth of the Indians’ rotation is their biggest question, writes Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Now that Carlos Carrasco and Mitch Talbot are on the disabled list, the Tribe’s other options are being tested. Here’s Rosenthal’s latest from around the league:
- The Mariners have the resources to bring in additional veterans when they want to, according to Rosenthal.
- Jose Bautista, one of the top players in the game right now, is impressing just about everyone, including his own skipper. “His game awareness is as good as you’re going to get,” manager John Farrell told Rosenthal. “His ability in that regard takes him to another level."
- A scout told Rosenthal that Manny Machado “looks like a man playing with little boys.” The Orioles selected the 18-year-old shortstop prospect with the third overall pick in last year’s draft and he has a 1.090 OPS in Class A.
- The Rays may need to upgrade over Casey Kotchman at first base, but a definitive improvement may be difficult to find. The Brewers are likely to keep Prince Fielder, as Rosenthal points out.
Not long after landing Nick Swisher, agent Dan Lozano has added Manny Machado, Yonder Alonso, and Danny Valencia to his list of clients according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick and Keith Law (all Twitter links). Machado and Alonso were named the 14th and 73rd best prospects in the game, respectively, by Baseball America just yesterday. Law notes that all three players than Miami roots.
Machado, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2010 draft. In his brief professional debut last summer (39 plate appearances), he hit .306/.359/.472 with a homer and as many walks (three) as strikeouts. In the 2011 edition of their Prospect Handbook, Baseball America said Machado "has the look of a perennial all-star" with a chance to "become a .300 hitter with 20 homers a season as he matures." Machado was previously being represented by Scott Boras.
Alonso, 24 in April, was the Reds' first round pick in 2008, seventh overall. He made his Major League debut last September, hitting just .207/.207/.276 with ten strikeouts and no walks in 29 plate appearances. Alonso is a .298/.368/.458 career hitters in the minors, and he told Crasnick that he left Legacy Sports "about a month ago." His salaries are controlled through 2012 thanks to the five-year, $4.55MM big league contract he signed out of the draft.
As a first baseman in the Reds' system, Alonso is stuck behind NL MVP Joey Votto, which is why the club has had him try third base and left field in the past. So far neither position has stuck, and Alonso could wind up trade bait.
Valencia, 26, emerged as the Twins third baseman last season, hitting .311/.351/.448 with seven homers in 322 plate appearances. He finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting.