Dodgers sell Eric Stults to Japanese team

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Eric Stults failed in his bid to be the Dodgers’ fifth starter and now Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 30-year-old southpaw has been sold to the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese League.
While the destination is surprising the move isn’t, as the Dodgers were first rumored to be shopping Stults last week. He’s spent parts of the past four seasons in Los Angeles, compiling an 8-10 record and 4.84 ERA in 145 innings split between the rotation and bullpen.
After selling Stults to Japan and demoting James McDonald to Triple-A competition for the Dodgers’ final rotation spot is now down to Ramon Ortiz, Charlie Haeger, Russ Ortiz, and Carlos Monasterios. Ramon Ortiz is considered the favorite at age 37 despite not pitching in the majors since 2007 and not posting an ERA below 5.00 since 2004. And to think, Dodgers fans thought Vicente Padilla on Opening Day was bad …

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.