Three things occurred in the Bay Area yesterday:
- Continued silence from Bud Selig’s little committee about what will become of the Athletics;
I know Selig and Lew Wolff have some incentives to drag all this out — like, trying to buy some time during which they can figure out how to buy off the Giants and sucker the people of San Jose into thinking that they’re not using public resources to benefit a rich real estate developer — but sometimes a mercy killing is the best route for the goodwill of the patient. It’s been over a year since it became clear to everyone that the A’s were going to San Jose. Maybe it would have been best to get that ball rolling a while ago.
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.