A recent report from USA Today’s Bob Nightengale characterized the Dodgers as the early favorite to acquire Manny Machado, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman adds the Phillies to the forefront of the race as well, citing an Orioles-connected source. Another source with connections to the Phils “suggested they are not amenable to trading their very top pitching prospects like Sixto Sanchez,” though Philadelphia is deep in minor league talent and could put together a package that doesn’t include their top pitching prospect.
Here’s more from Heyman, via his latest notes column…
- Adrian Beltre has informed the Rangers he’s willing to consider trades, though he hopes to return to the Rangers in 2019. “I don’t think he’s going anywhere,” a source close to Beltre told Heyman, as it seems like the veteran third baseman would only waive his full no-trade protection for a perfect situation. Since Texas also wants Beltre back next season, a win-win situation for the team would be to get some young talent in a trade and then just re-sign Beltre in the offseason. It all depends on whether Beltre is willing to uproot himself for a couple of months to join a contender, or if he prefers to just remain in a comfortable environment in Texas. Still, it can’t hurt Beltre to at least listen to trade offers in case an ideal short-term opportunity presents itself.
- Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski recently emphasized Rafael Devers’ status as Boston’s third baseman of the present and future, and Heyman hears from a source that the Sox have no plans to deal the young slugger. Devers has hit only .239/.284/.425 with 13 homers over 328 PA this season, leading to speculation that the Sox could look for third base help, either for the short term (Boston has been linked to Adrian Beltre in the rumor mill) or perhaps with Devers himself heading elsewhere in a deal. It certainly seems way too early for the Sox to give up on Devers, who is just 21 and in the midst of his first full season in the majors. He would be a major trade chip, however, if the Red Sox did explore moving him for another major veteran acquisition.
- It isn’t yet certain if Charlie Morton will pursue another contract or retire after the season, though if he does hit the open market, Heyman speculates that the veteran could earn something between $16MM and $25MM (the average annual values given to Rich Hill and Jake Arrieta the last two offseasons) next season. Morton turns 35 in November but has been fantastic since joining the Astros, and is currently in the midst of the best season of his 11-year career. It seems likely that the Astros will extend a qualifying offer to Morton after the season, as Heyman notes, and Morton certainly seems like a good candidate to accept the one-year deal in the $18MM+ range, given his love of playing in Houston.