With Game 4 of the World Series just a few hours from first pitch, here’s a few items of interest from around baseball:
– John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks the “desperate-for-pop Giants” would consider outbidding the Red Sox for Jason Bay. Jon Heyman of SI.com reported last week that the Red Sox were willing to give Bay $60 million over four years.
If Bay doesn’t work out for San Francisco, Shea names Garrett Atkins as
a possibility. Atkins, who lost his starting job to Ian Stewart, batted
just .226/.308/.342 with nine home runs and 48 RBI this season. Buster
Olney of ESPN.com recently named him as a prime candidate to be non-tendered in December.
– A source told John Perrotto of
Baseball Prospectus that there’s no chance the Pirates will call up
top-prospects Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln before at least next June.
Such a decision would likely keep Alvarez or Lincoln from reaching
“Super 2” status, meaning they wouldn’t be arbitration-eligible until
after the 2013 season.
– Matt Welch of Halos Heaven says you should think about Brandon Wood when you watch the Phillies.
– And finally, former Mets
and Giants outfielder Tsuyoshi Shinjo is back on a baseball field, but he may have
taken the idea of “’70s night” a little too far.
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.