Things aren’t looking good for the Orioles, who are off to a 7-19 start and stuck in a division with at least two potential World Series contenders in the Red Sox and Yankees. Nevertheless, “it’s a little early” to tear things down, according to general manager Dan Duquette (via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). “We’ll probably give it a little bit more time. Usually, Memorial Day is the marker to evaluate a ballclub and see where you’re at and see where you want to go,” Duquette continued. “Other clubs have had the same time to evaluate their ballclub and see what they need. So I think that’s probably a good marker.” Assuming the Orioles don’t return to relevance in the next month, they could have the hottest trade commodity of the summer in superstar shortstop Manny Machado, who has been tremendous this year, and other possible trade candidates such as free agents-to-be Adam Jones, Brad Brach and Zach Britton.
More on a few of Baltimore’s fellow AL clubs…
- The Athletics are reportedly discussing a one-year extension with slugger Khris Davis, who’d welcome the opportunity to stay in Oakland, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle relays. “I want to be an Oakland Athletic,” Davis said. “I think I fit in well here. I like the organization, I like the coaching staff, I like my teammates.” Interestingly, Slusser suggests there’s at least a small chance that the low-payroll Athletics could designate Davis for assignment next offseason if he hasn’t agreed to an extension and they fear his arbitration award will be too high. That would be an eye-opening move by Oakland, for which Davis has slashed .247/.322/.525 (125 wRC+) with a major league-high 92 home runs in 1,381 PAs since joining the team prior to 2016. The 30-year-old Davis is making $10.5MM this season and, as Slusser notes, could wind up at $15MM or more in 2019 – his final arb campaign.
- The Indians tried to retain first baseman Carlos Santana with a three-year offer in the $40MM range before he joined the Phillies on a three-year, $60MM deal in the offseason, Terry Pluto of cleveland.com reports. The Indians ultimately replaced Santana with Yonder Alonso, who landed a two-year, $16MM pact, after considering fellow free agents Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison, per Pluto. The most productive member of that group this season has been Alonso, who has batted .239/.292/.534 (119 wRC+) with eight home runs in his first 96 plate trips as an Indian.
- Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts is day-to-day after leaving their game against the Rays on Saturday with right hamstring tightness, according to Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald. Betts has been among the best players in the game in the early going this year, having slashed a ridiculous .344/.439/.733 (208 wRC+) with eight HRs in 107 PAs. Meanwhile, teammate and knuckleballer Steven Wright began serving his 15-game suspension for violating the MLB-MLBPA Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, Ian Browne of MLB.com was among those to report. Wright opened the year on the disabled list after undergoing a platelet-rich plasma injection in his surgically repaired left knee, thus preventing him from serving the ban. Wright, who made a Triple-A rehab start Friday, will be eligible to return to the majors May 14. It’s unclear whether he’ll slot back into Boston’s rotation, though, given that it already has a full complement of arms with Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz.