Astros GM Jeff Luhnow spoke to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links) and other reporters about today’s five-player trade with the Mets, noting that New York “was aggressive” in asking about J.D. Davis. The Astros weren’t originally thinking of moving Davis, but Luhnow explained that “there was enough of a market for him that we decided to go ahead and explore it because there’s no obvious spot for him on our 25-man roster next year, at this point.” The Mets’ inclusion of catching prospect Scott Manea as part of the return going back to Houston “was a big part of it for us,” Luhnow said, due to the Astros’ lack of catching depth. In terms of future moves, Luhnow also said that the Astros are still considering the starting pitching and bullpen markets.
Here’s more from around the AL…
- Speaking to media (including the Kyodo News) in his return to Japan, Yusei Kikuchi mentioned that the Mariners were the first team to make him a contract offer. It isn’t clear if other teams also made offers after the fact and Seattle eventually altered its offer to win the bidding, or if perhaps the M’s were the only club to issue a concrete offer to the left-hander. The latter scenario seems rather unlikely, given that multiple teams reportedly had interest in Kikuchi during his posting period. Then again, given how impressed Kikuchi and agent Scott Boras were with the Mariners’ detailed plans for managing Kikuchi’s workload and arm health in his transition to Major League Baseball, it isn’t entirely out of the question that Kikuchi decided to jump on the offer, especially considering the money involved (at least $56MM, and worth as much as $106MM) in the deal’s unique salary structure.
- The Orioles have offered their bullpen coach job to minor league pitching coordinator John Wasdin, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Wasdin has been in his current role in the organization for the last two seasons, after spending the previous six years as a minor league pitching coach in the Athletics’ farm system. Wasdin briefly pitched for the O’s in 2001 as part of his 12-year career in the majors. It isn’t yet known if Wasdin will accept the offer, though regardless, Kubatko writes that the Orioles will head into 2019 with an entirely new coaching staff under new manager Brandon Hyde.
- The latest round of Manny Machado speculation had the free agent infielder reportedly visiting Chicago today, attending the Eagles/Bears NFL playoff game as a guest of White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. As per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, however, this rumor wasn’t accurate. In terms of free agency, Machado is already seeing a Chicago vs. Philadelphia (vs. New York) battle play out, as the White Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are the three teams most directly connected to his pursuit, and it’s possible these three clubs could be the finalists for Machado’s services.