The Orioles may have to shop superstar third baseman Manny Machado in the offseason if there’s no hope of reaching a long-term deal with the 25-year-old, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe contends. General manager Dan Duquette revealed that the Orioles have made at least two attempts to lock up Machado and will likely try again, per Cafardo. However, given that a historic payday could await Machado in free agency after next season, it’s difficult to imagine him eschewing a chance to shop his services around the league. While Machado’s numbers this year aren’t quite up to par with his spectacular 2015-16 output, he has gone on a second-half tear and is enjoying his third straight 30-home run season.
More from Cafardo:
- Red Sox utilityman Eduardo Nunez is likely to find a better contract and a bigger role elsewhere in the offseason, Cafardo suggests. The 30-year-old has slashed an outstanding .311/.343/.528 with eight homers in 169 plate appearances since the Red Sox acquired him from the Giants on July 26. Most of Nunez’s work in Boston has come at second base, where Dustin Pedroia was out from July 29 until the end of August. Pedroia is now back, though, and is obviously the team’s top option at the keystone. He’ll continue to man second next season, and Boston also has everyday players locked in at Nunez’s other positions (third base, shortstop and the corner outfield). A team with less certainty in any of those areas could be a more realistic fit for Nunez going forward, then, and Cafardo lists the Mets as a possible suitor. With the exception of shortstop, where the Mets figure to stick with top prospect Amed Rosario, they’ll enter the offseason with questions at all of Nunez’s positions.
- Considering Nunez is gone and their reunion with Pablo Sandoval hasn’t yielded positive results, the Giants will enter the offseason with a need at third base. They could address that by signing soon-to-be free agent Mike Moustakas, notes Cafardo, who lists several other teams as potential landing spots. In 2017, perhaps his final year with the Royals, Moustakas has slashed .278/.318/.543 with career-high power numbers (36 homers, .264 ISO) across 528 PAs. Set to turn 29 on Monday, Moustakas figures to be among the most coveted players available in the winter.
- Red Sox Triple-A outfielder Bryce Brentz is drawing interest from Japan, according to Cafardo. However, the 28-year-old would like to parlay his .271/.334/.529 line with 31 home runs in 494 plate appearances into a major league contract during the offseason. Brentz has been a member of the Red Sox since they used a first-round pick on him in 2010, but he has accrued just 90 PAs with the club and hasn’t seen the majors this year. Despite his 2017 power surge, the Red Sox didn’t summon Brentz to the majors Sept. 1, perhaps sealing his fate with the organization.