Verlander, Tigers nearing long-term talks

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Tigers ace Justin Verlander told MLB.com’s Jason Beck on Thursday that he expects to engage in long-term contract talks with the club soon after his 2010 salary is decided. 

Verlander requested $9.5 million and was offered $6.9 million from the Tigers when arbitration figures were exchanged on Tuesday.  The two sides obviously disagree on his current value, but perhaps the arbitration-related discussions will help establish some sort of common ground moving forward.

“I think Dave [Dombrowski’s] quote is that they want me around for a
long time. I want to be here for a long time,” Verlander said Thursday
afternoon. “I know I love it here, and I know I’d like to be here for a long time,
but that has not been discussed yet. We’ll see. We’ll cross that bridge
when that comes.”

The right-hander, who turns 27 in February, went 19-9 last season with a 3.45 ERA and led all American League pitchers with 269 strikeouts in 240 innings.

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.