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American League

Orioles Dropped the Ball on Machado

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Manny Machado’s desire to play this season at shortstop after several years at third base comes as no surprise.

Machado will be 26 by the time he hits free agency this offseason and recognizes the opportunity for a lucrative payday.  A 26-year old shortstop that has shown 30 home run power tends to make more on the open market than a third basemen with the same credentials.

The only real surprise is that the Orioles are obliging Machado in his request (Even with J.J. Hardy gone). The Orioles have all but packed Machado’s bags the last couple of seasons (directly and indirectly), and now the O’s are helping their homegrown star maximize his value when he leaves this offseason.

The Orioles could argue that they too are trying to maximize his value to swing a trade before the trade deadline.   The haul for Machado would be much greater if he were viewed as a shortstop.  Many problems arise with this concept.

The rest of baseball knows that under no circumstances can the Orioles afford to re-sign Machado this offseason.  He will command a contract in the $250-$300 million range, and only a handful of teams can pony up that kind of cash.  Baltimore’s frugal owner Peter Angelos aside it still would not happen for the O’s.

Teams armed with this knowledge will look to lowball the Orioles in trade discussions.  The consensus from the Baltimore front office is that offers they received this offseason for Machado were well below what the team was looking for in a deal.

Orioles General Manager Dan Duquette was rumored to be seeking two major league ready starting pitchers in a winter deal for Machado, but no deal was struck.  The point to be made is if the Orioles were unable to find a suitable deal in November for Machado, what makes the O’s think they can get top dollar during the middle of the season?

Duquette could have offered a team a full year of Machado and received a good return in a deal.  Now, the Orioles have to hope a team gets desperate enough to deal top prospects for a star they will only have for a couple of months with no guarantee of signing him after the season.  Savvy GM’s will not make such a hasty decision even in an intense pennant race.

The situation is now a no-win for the O’s.  Baltimore will more than likely receive pennies on the dollar for their superstar shortstop, or the team can keep him for the duration of the season and watch him leave.  Zach Britton and Adam Jones are set to become free agents after this season as well.   The Orioles are not better than the Yankees or Red Sox (Maybe the Blue Jays either), so the order is tall in the AL East.

The speculation is that Peter Angelos does not want to trade the star in fears of attendance dropping.  The Orioles have to let the situation play itself out and see how the season and trade market goes.

Hindsight is 20/20 but the Orioles could have traded Machado two offseason’s ago to receive top value.  Paying Chris Davis $161 million over seven years in a ballpark that is more than hitter friendly seems crazy at this point.  The O’s failed to investing in ANY substantial starting pitching and has been there undoing over the past several seasons.

The Orioles certainly swung and missed numerous times with Manny Machado.  The logical move is to trade him for any level of adequate starting pitching and build around players like Jonathan Scoop and Trey Mancini.  Manny Machado will be flying the coup in Baltimore whether it’s up to the Orioles where he goes remains to be seen.

 

 

 

 

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American League

Blue Jays Have “Legitimate Interest” In Jake Odorizzi

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Jake Odorizzi

The Toronto Blue Jays are looking to make a splash in free agency and have their sights set on pitcher Jake Odorizzi, according to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi.

The Blue Jays have already conducted a sit-down meeting with Odorizzi’s agents.

Odorizzi, 29, is coming off come off arguably the best season of his career with the Minnesota Twins last season.

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American League

Rangers to Target Top Free Agents

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Jon Daniels

The Texas Rangers are entering the offseason with plans of targeting some of the top tier free agents that will be available.

Rangers’ general manager Jon Daniels made it clear that he was ready to bring the Rangers back as a major player in the free agent market.

“This year, we are going to look at everything,” Daniels said, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant. “Our goal is to get better, period. There are a couple of spots more [available] than others. We have signed [top free agents] before and at some point I have to suspect we will again.”

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American League

Yankees’ Brian Cashman Talks Gerrit Cole, Offseason Plans

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Brian Cashman

The New York Yankees expect to be busy this offseason, as they usually are, and among the teams trying to lure Gerrit Cole to join their rotation.

Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman discussed Cole, as well as the upcoming offseason for the Bronx Bombers.

According to SNY’s Andy Martino, Cashman says that the Yankees will engage with both Houston Astros hurler Gerrit Cole and World Series Champion Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg.

However, Cashman added that the Yankees already have a significant amount of money on the books, according to Newsday’s Erik Boland.

Cashman added that the Yankees will also explore the trade market, much like they did last season when they acquired James Paxton from the Seattle Seahawks, according to the New York Times’ James Wagner.

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