With the Orioles having failed to extend Manny Machado in the past, the shortstop noted this weekend (via Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun) that “they never reached out and showed that appreciation like the Angels did to (Mike) Trout. It was a totally different situation.” Machado was referring to the Angels’ decision in 2014 to give the then-22-year-old Trout a six-year, $144.5MM extension – one that canceled out three arbitration-eligible seasons and three free-agent years. Now, Machado says he’s “grateful” he’ll hit free agency this offseason at the age of 26. So, while the Orioles are all but guaranteed to trade Machado to a contender in the next few months, it doesn’t sound as if his next employer will have a legitimate chance to prevent him from reaching the open market with a new contract. Of course, given that Machado is in line to sign one of the majors’ richest deals ever, it’s no surprise he’s eager to test the open market.
Here’s more on a couple other AL East teams:
- Left-hander CC Sabathia suggested last month that he’d retire at year’s end if the Yankees were to win the World Series. But the 37-year-old now seems more open to returning in 2019 even if the Yankees aren’t the last team standing this season. “If we win the World Series and I pitch well and I’m healthy at the end of the year, then it’s 50-50 that I come back,” Sabathia said (via Marc Carig of The Athletic; subscription required). “It’s not an absolute.” Considering how well he’s pitching, it stands to reason the Yankees would welcome back a healthy Sabathia next year if he decides to keep pitching. In his age 37-season, Sabathia has pitched to a 3.02 ERA/4.04 FIP in 83 1/3 innings, thanks in part to his ability to limit hard contact. Sabathia ranks third among qualified pitchers in average exit velocity against (84.2 mph).
- The value of Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak’s 2019 club option has climbed from $6MM to $7MM, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tweets. In order for that to happen, Smoak needed to accrue 950 plate appearances from 2017-18. He surpassed that figure Saturday. And Smoak’s option will go from $7MM to $8MM if he amasses 150 more PAs this year (1,100 total from 2017-18), Davidi notes. Whether his salary ends up at $7MM or $8MM, both numbers look like reasonable salaries for Smoak – who’s enjoying his second straight above-average offensive season. Although, Smoak’s .235/.359/.438 line in 315 PAs falls well short of last year’s .270/.355/.529 showing.
- More on the Blue Jays, whose willingness to eat portions of veterans’ contracts in trades has them in a good position as the July 31 non-waiver deadline nears, Davidi observes. When Toronto sent infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce to Boston this week, it acquired infield prospect Santiago Espinal in part because it ate $1.66MM of Pearce’s remaining salary. With Pearce gone, the Jays still have several other veteran trade candidates, and paying some of their contracts would improve the team’s returns in deals. Notably, the Jays “have the support of the organization to do it,” general manager Ross Atkins said.