Link-O-Rama: Bay has always been really good

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* Now that Jason Bay is starring on a contending team in a big market the baseball world seems to have discovered him,
but that has as much to do with no one paying any attention to the
Pirates as it does his actual performance with the Red Sox. Seriously.

Bay has hit .290/.389/.564 in 111 games with Boston, which while
very good is also very close to the .296/.399/.546 line that he posted
with Pittsburgh between 2005 and 2006. Take out his injury-plagued 2007
season and Bay posted a .932 OPS in Pittsburgh. He has a .953 OPS in
Boston.

* Dave Cameron investigates Johan Santana’s struggles like only the boys at FanGraphs.com can. Turns out there, the whole blister theory may be correct.

* Within his latest outstanding blog entry,
Joe Posnanski passes along this amusing tidbit: “Carlos Zambrano has
hit 14 home runs in his last 282 at-bats. David Ortiz has hit 10 home
runs in his last 348 at-bats.” Sure, but how many homers has Ortiz allowed during that time?

* Despite facing a year-long recovery after the second Tommy John elbow surgery of his career, Jason Isringhausen is not ready to call it quits.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.

The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.

The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.