The Dodgers could use some pitching help, and some have speculated that they could be in on the Cliff Lee frenzy. For now, though, general manager Ned Colletti is setting his sights a bit lower: free agent pitchers such a Pedro Martinez, Braden Looper and Jarrod Washburn.
He’s not said that he talked to any of those guys specifically, but he tells the L.A. Times today that he has inquired about
free agent pitchers. You figure Pedro would be the main target given that, when he has pitched, he’s basically been effective whereas Washburn and Looper are no guarantees even if they weren’t rusty as hell by now.
Dodgers fans would probably be more interested in watching Martinez anyway. Not as interested as they would have been to watch him back in the mid-to-late 90s as opposed to having Delino DeShields around, but I’m sure they don’t want to be reminded of that painful memory.
Oh, um, sorry.
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.