Baseball is going to review the Joe West-Mark Buehrle thing

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Joe West mask.JPEGBruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate the dustup between Joe West and the White Sox during yesterday’s White Sox-Indians game.  I found this quote from discipline czar Bob Watson rather illuminating:

“We have either an umpire supervisor or umpire observer at
every game,” said Watson. “We will review all information available and
make a determination on what needs to be done.”

That suggest to me that they’re investigating West, not just figuring out whether Ozzie Guillen needs to be fined (why else would the umpire supervisor get mentioned?).  Of course since Major League Baseball never announces umpire discipline we may not know what happens to West, but I’m encouraged that they at least appear to be open to the possibility that he acted like a horse’s ass yesterday.

In other news, The Common Man — who has been on a roll with this umpire business lately — has a post up over at IIATMS asking whether Joe West has bigger problems than his on-field behavior. Like, say, using his fame as an umpire to boost his country music career.

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.