It remains unlikely that the Orioles will trade Manny Machado at all, and while the Phillies certainly have interest in the star third baseman, they know they’re probably not an ideal fit if the O’s did shop Machado, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman tweets. With Machado only under contract through the 2018 season, it doesn’t make sense for the rebuilding Phillies to make a move for him right now. As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jim Salisbury notes, the Phils could just wait until next winter to pursue Machado in free agency. That way, he costs just money, whereas trying to trade for him now would cost both money (if a contract extension can be worked out) and several prospects.
Some more rumblings out of Camden Yards…
- Speaking of a link between the Orioles and Phillies, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko writes that Baltimore could consider Phillies left-handed pitching prospect Austin Davis in Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. A 12th-round pick in the 2014 amateur draft, Davis has a 3.07 ERA, 8.7 K/9 and 2.71 K/BB rate over 228 2/3 minor league innings, none above the Double-A level. The O’s have frequently mined the Rule 5 Draft for young talent, including taking both Anthony Santander and Aneury Tavarez last year.
- Davis could fit the Orioles’ desire for another southpaw option in the bullpen. Team executive VP Dan Duquette told Kubatko and other reporters that a hard-throwing lefty reliever is “on our radar” as an offseason need. With Zach Britton closing, the Orioles’ other left-handed pen options include Richard Bleier and Donnie Hart, both of whom “are more finesse from the left side,” Duquette said. Kubatko figures Bleier is a good bet for a bullpen job in 2018, so Hart could be Triple-A depth if the Orioles did get another southpaw.
- The O’s want to add a veteran to their catching mix of Caleb Joseph, Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns. Duquette said the team had interest in re-signing catcher Francisco Pena but revealed that “he’s going to sign with somebody else.” Pena only appeared in 19 MLB games for Baltimore over the last two seasons, though was held in high regard as a depth option due to his strong defense. Pena was designated for assignment and outrighted off the Orioles’ roster three times in 2017, and he became a free agent after the season.
- Minor league left-handers Keegan Akin and Alex Wells have both received trade interest from other teams, Duquette said (hat tip to PressBoxOnline.com’s Rich Dubroff). Akin and Wells respectively ranked 8th and 16th on MLB.com’s list of the top 30 Orioles prospects; Baseball America recently cited Wells as owning the best control of any pitcher in the farm system, though neither he or Akin made BA’s list of top 10 Baltimore minor leaguers. The O’s aren’t considered to be particularly deep in young talent, particularly on the pitching side, so it would be a little surprising to see them part with Akin or Wells unless they can get very good value for either southpaw.