The Winter Meetings kicked into overdrive following Giancarlo Stanton’s trade to the New York Yankees, so much that another big name player could soon be on the move. The Baltimore Orioles were not shy about their intent to move their star third baseman and were adamant in saying he would cost a pretty penny, particularly since they would certainly lose him for nothing in free agency next year.
On the National League side, the Arizona Diamondbacks seem ready to subtract to keep a key hitter, so what’s that all about?
It’s that time again, baseball fans. Here’s the Rumor Roundup!
Machado on the Market
The big story yesterday and one that will surely carry over to today was the Baltimore Orioles shopping Manny Machado. The 25-year-old hit just .259 in 2017, but had a strong second half and finished the season with 33 home runs and 95 RBI. At this point, he is the second-most prized free agent of next year’s class behind Bryce Harper.
Baltimore’s front office senses this and, as was reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, let teams know Machado was available for “two young, controllable starting pitchers,” a fair price given the third baseman’s ceiling. ESPN’s Buster Olney later tweeted the Yankees had checked in with Baltimore regarding Machado, but that deal seems unlikely since the Orioles probably don’t want to trade him to another AL East team.
Olney also reported the Chicago White Sox as having interest, with Bob Nightengale of USA Today stating the St. Louis Cardinals had checked in too. However, St. Louis GM Michael Girsch told Ben Frederickson of The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that giving up top prospects to add Machado, who could very well leave after just one year, was unlikely.
One thing is certain. The Orioles have resigned themselves to not contending in 2018 and are looking to unload Machado for the sake of restocking a depleted minor league system. He has the talent to command prospects but just as Yankees GM Brian Cashman showed the Oakland A’s in last summer’s Sonny Gray trade, GM Dan Duquette is hardly in a strong position to demand top prospects because this trade is to avoid losing Machado for nothing in free agency.
The odds of a trade happening seem slim but Machado’s name bears watching for the rest of the offseason.
Zack Greinke being shopped?
Zack Greinke turned in a great 2017 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA as the unquestioned ace of the staff. He has four years and well over $100m remaining on his deal, so one would assume he’d be back next year to help keep the Snakes’ foot on the gas pedal.
Or so we thought. TR Sullivan of MLB.com reported last night the Texas Rangers had reached out to Arizona about acquiring Greinke, which is a strong possibility since Texas is not on Greinke’s no-trade list. Sullivan also stated the talks were “real and ongoing,” and Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram added the Rangers were insisting outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and the $63m remaining on his deal be involved in the deal.
However, these talks appear to have stalled because as was tweeted out by Nightengale, Texas was only offering “marginal prospects” in Greinke talks while also wanting Arizona to cover some of his remaining salary. Nightengale added that the Diamondbacks weren’t interested in a salary dump though unloading at least a portion of Greinke’s deal would increase the team’s chances of re-signing outfielder JD Martinez.
It looks like Greinke is staying put for now, but keep an eye on the Arizona Diamondbacks for any other moves.
A flurry of signings
And amongst all the rumors and whispers yesterday, baseball fans were treated to a lot of free agents finding new homes. The most notable one was righty reliever Bryan Shaw, who signed a three-year deal worth $27m with the Colorado Rockies according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Shaw posted a 3.52 ERA in 79 games for the Cleveland Indians in 2017 and should be a reliable bullpen arm for the Rockies, who also re-signed lefty Jake McGee to a three-year contract according to Heyman. McGee’s financial terms have not yet been disclosed.
But wait, there’s more! Per Rosenthal, the Philadelphia Phillies added righty Tommy Hunter on a two-year, $18m contract, a well-deserved deal after posting a 2.61 ERA in 61 games for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
To cap a flurry of pitcher signings, the Minnesota Twins added righty starter Michael Pineda to a two-year, $10m deal this morning according to a tweet from Twins Senior Communications Director Dustin Morse. Pineda is recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready until late 2018, but the deal makes sense in that he earns just $2m this coming season compared to $8m in 2019. Mike Berardino of The St. Paul Pioneer Press also tweeted Pineda’s deal contains up to $3m in incentives.
Make no mistake, the free agency floodgates have opened and with the Winter Meetings continuing at breakneck speed, expect more new deals in the coming days.