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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

Rangers Sign Rafael Montero

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with right handed pitcher Rafael Montero, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Montero is still working back from Tommy John surgery, and was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization , but struggled transitioning to the major league level, putting together a woeful 5.38 ERA over 192 1/3 innings pitched.

 

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American League

Astros Sign Robinson Chirinos to One-Year Deal

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The Houston Astros are signing free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year deal with $5.75 million, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Chirinos had a career year in 2017 while playing for the Texas Rangers, but had a dramatic dip in production during the 2018 season and was no brought back by the team. Chirinos isn’t considered a defensive stud behind the plate either, and will join Max Stassi in the Astros catching rotation.

 

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American League

Angels Announce Coaching Staff

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The Los Angeles Angels have announced the coaching staff for brand new manager Brad Ausmus.

Pitching coach Doug White, hitting coach Jeremy Reed, and assistant hitting coach Shawn Wooten have already been announced as additions to Ausmus’ staff.

Long-time MLB infielder Mike Gallego will work with infielders and coach third base. Jose Molina, the former big league catcher, will work with catchers. Additionally, Jesus Feliciano will be slated to work with the outfielders and former slugger Paul Sorrento will join the hitting coaches team.

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