Three weeks out of prison, Elijah Dukes' father dies of cancer

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It’s a pretty horrible story, one we might be hearing about more in future weeks.
According to the Washington Post, Elijah “David” Dukes Sr. died Nov. 23, just three weeks after being released following a 14-year sentence for murder. The 43-year-old fell ill after his release and was quickly diagnosed with cancer, which went undetected in prison.
The younger Dukes, of course, has had a history of run-ins with the law, though he’s stayed out of off-field troubles in the two years since being acquired by the Nationals. Getting out of his hometown of Tampa has likely helped in that regard, though he still lives there in the offseason. He was playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic when discovering the news about his father. He was able to head home and spend some time with him before he passed.
“It hit him hard,” said manager Jim Riggleman said, “because Elijah was really looking forward to his father seeing him play — and then after a few weeks, he’s gone.”
Dukes, who will probably be the Nationals’ starting right fielder next season, was expected to return to winter ball this week.

The Orioles are “moving aggressively” to trade Manny Machado

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.

Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.

Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.