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Manny Machado Rumors
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.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Arizona Diamondbacks | Atlanta Braves | Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chase Headley | Chicago Cubs | Dylan Bundy | Jason Vargas | Josh Willingham | Kelly Shoppach | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Luke Gregerson | Manny Machado | Matt Garza | Miami Marlins | Minnesota Twins | Peter Bourjos | Philadelphia Phillies | San Diego Padres | Seattle Mariners
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.
11:43pm: The Orioles, who announced the deal via press release, agreed to a $5.25MM deal with Machado, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
11:06pm: The Orioles agreed to sign third-overall pick Manny Machado, according to Jim Bowden of Sirius XM Radio (Twitter link). The 18-year-old shortstop is from Miami, so some have compared him to one of the best draft picks in MLB history: Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod's agent, Scott Boras, also represents Machado (and a number of top picks in this year's draft). He wasn't an easy player to sign but, Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said after the draft that Machado has the talent to be an impact major leaguer.
“He’s going to automatically be one of the premier prospects in the organization,” Jordan said.
Last year, MLB recommended a $2.925MM bonus for the third-overall pick. Click here for the complete list of 2010 first-rounders to sign.
Saturday afternoon linkage…
- Bengie Molina has had an immediate impact in Texas, writes Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com.
- The Orioles won't sign Manny Machado before August 1st, Baltimore's director of scouting told Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com (via Twitter).
- The Indians placed closer Kerry Wood on the disabled list with a blister on his right index finger according to MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince. The move is retroactive to July 12th, so unless he needs more than the 15 days off, Wood will be back just before the trade deadline.
- Meanwhile, ESPN's Buster Olney says Wood's actual trade deadline is August 31st, because he will clear waivers next month given the $4MM still owed to him this season (Twitter links).
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams often approaches his veteran players to get their opinions about potential moves, but he has not yet pulled Paul Konerko aside to discuss scenarios according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times.
- Bernie Miklasz of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that Cardinals' GM John Mozeliak was well-deserving of his contract extension.
- In a video on ESPN, Olney says the Yankees have determined that they would not trade catching prospect Jesus Montero for any player available on the trade market. They were willing to move him for Cliff Lee because it was a special case.
- Heath Bell told Ephraim Fischbein of New York Baseball Digest that he's happy in San Diego, but would like to return to the Mets if the Padres decide to go in a different direction.
- Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News (via Twitter) applauds the Giants' signings of Juan Uribe and Aubrey Huff, who cost the club roughly $3MM each.
- Mark Tracy is excited to be a part of the Rockies along with his father, manager Jim Tracy, writes MLB.com's Thomas Harding. Colorado selected the skipper's son in the 22nd round of the 2010 Draft.
- Contrary to a report late last night, the Angels and Red Sox did not agree to a swap of Gary Matthews Jr. and Mike Lowell over the winter, a major league source told Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
- David Lennon of Newsday (via Twitter) writes that it's an 80% possibility that the Mets non-tender John Maine after this season.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says that the Indians are likely to move some veterans in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline, but they could be a dangerous team to face until then because of Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, and Jake Westbrook (Insider req'd).
- MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch says to expect negotiations between the Pirates and their top draft picks Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie to go right down to the August 16th signing deadline.
- The Pirates had a long debate about who to take with the second overall pick in last week's draft according to Chuck Finder of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and it wasn't until last weekend that they decided on Jameson over Manny Machado.
- Meanwhile Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the Pirates won't rush their top prospects. Once those prospects are promoted to the big league team, their minor league roster spots will be filled by players currently on ML roster (after they're optioned down) or by "signing low-cost, minor league free agents."
- Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer doesn't see the Indians offering anyone but Shin-Soo Choo a multi-year deal, including the resurgent Austin Kearns.
- Newsday's David Lennon thinks it might make sense for the Mets to "consider opening extension talks" with catcher Rod Barajas before the season ends and he hits the free agent market.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Aubrey Huff | Austin Kearns | Boston Red Sox | Cleveland Indians | Gary Matthews Jr. | Heath Bell | Jameson Taillon | John Maine | Juan Uribe | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim | Manny Machado | Mike Lowell | New York Mets | Pittsburgh Pirates | Rod Barajas | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Shin-Soo Choo
Manny Machado has heard the Alex Rodriguez comparisons, like everyone else. The Orioles’ first round selection is a big high school shortstop from the Miami area, so A-Rod was an unavoidable point of reference. Machado finds the comparisons flattering – to a point.
“I’m Manny Machado,” he said after celebrating the draft with about 25 family members. “I can’t be like anybody else. You’ve got to be yourself.”
Before long, Machado could be making a name for himself in the same organization as recent first rounders Nick Markakis, Matt Wieters and Brian Matusz. Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan says he was drawn to Machado’s enthusiasm for the game and, most of all, his talent.
“He’s going to automatically be one of the premier prospects in the organization,” Jordan said.
Technically, the Orioles have to sign Machado before that happens. Whether the shortstop likes the A-Rod comparisons or not, Machado definitely has something in common with Rodriguez: Scott Boras. That connection has intimidated teams before, but Jordan expressed confidence that the Orioles will sign Machado.
“He’s going to be a Baltimore Oriole,” Jordan said. “I have no doubt about that.”
Wieters, another Boras client, obtained the highest bonus in Orioles history when he signed for $6MM in 2007.