Garrett Atkins: 'I'll be on another team next year'

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For now at least the Rockies have held off on releasing Garrett Atkins, but the veteran third baseman admitted yesterday that he sees zero chance of remaining in Colorado: “I know that I’ll be on another team next year and I’m just getting ready to have a good season.”
Atkins’ performance has declined significantly in each of the past three seasons, leading to a career-worst .226/.308/.342 line in 399 plate appearances while losing his starting job this year.
He earned $7 million for that awful production and would be in line for a similar salary in 2010 via arbitration, so expect the Rockies to non-tender him next month. In the meantime they’ll keep him on the 40-man roster in the hopes of finding a taker via trade, but presumably there are no teams dumb enough to actually give up something of value in trade for the right to massively overpay Atkins.
Beyond his awful performance this season, Atkins is a career .252/.324/.411 away from Coors Field, turns 30 years old in a few weeks, and has always graded out poorly on defense at third base. And if for some crazy reason there’s still a team out there willing to pay a premium for that, they surely realize that the Rockies have no intention of actually keeping Atkins around long enough to go to arbitration.
Unless some team makes the mistake of trading for him before then, Atkins will be a free agent by December 12.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.

The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.

Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.

As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.