Speaking with reporters Sunday, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette confirmed that the team will attempt to return to contention, not rebuild, in 2018. That means neither third baseman Manny Machado nor reliever Zach Britton will be on the trade market in the offseason. Both players are scheduled to become free agents after next season, but Duquette unsurprisingly revealed that the Orioles will consider trying to extend Machado over the winter. Given that Machado’s a year from potentially collecting a record contract on the open market, it’s difficult to imagine the 25-year-old re-signing in the coming months. From a team standpoint, the positive contributions of Machado and other position players largely went to waste this year on account of poor pitching. With that in mind, Duquette said that the Orioles will focus on improving their rotation in the offseason, adding that they’ll have the ability to upgrade via free agency (Twitter links via Rich Dubroff of PressBoxOnline.com, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com and Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun).
More from around the American League:
- Machado isn’t the only superstar third baseman in the AL East who has one year left on his contract. The Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson is in the same situation, but if the soon-to-be 32-year-old gets his way, he’ll remain in Toronto for the long haul. Donaldson said Sunday that he’d “be tickled pink” to finish his career as a Jay, per Hazel Mae of Sportsnet (Twitter link). He also revealed, via Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, that he met with GM Ross Atkins to “let him know where I stand and where I stand is I want to be a Blue Jay.” There were no contract negotiations during the meeting, according to Donaldson, and Atkins was reluctant to share details of their discussion. “I can tell you I love Josh Donaldson as a player, he’s been a great teammate, really smart, interesting person, dynamic personality, he’s been great for this organization,” said Atkins. Check out Davidi’s piece for more quotes from Donaldson and Atkins.
- The Twins have surprised this year en route to a playoff berth, but Paul Molitor still doesn’t know if he’ll be the team’s manager in 2018, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press writes. Molitor is unsigned past this season, and his fate will rest with the decision-making duo of chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and GM Thad Levine. Those two were not at the helm when the Twins hired Molitor prior to the 2015 season. That was ex-GM Terry Ryan, who’s now an employee of a Philadelphia team that happens to be looking for a manager, as Berardino notes.
- The Tigers have conducted interviews for their vacant managerial post this weekend with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, first base coach Omar Vizquel and third base coach Dave Clark, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports (on Twitter). General manager Al Avila will begin interviewing outside candidates next week, Evan Woodbery of MLive.com tweets.