Rumor: a Roger Clemens indictment is not far off

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Put this firmly in the category of scuttlebutt and rumor, not news, but someone who tends to know about this kind of thing is telling me that the feds could obtain an indictment on Roger Clemens any day now. The last intelligence my source had on it was that it could happen “around the All-Star break.”

To be clear — predicting indictments is kind of a sucker’s game. I had a client under federal grand jury investigation for 18 months once, and every other day someone called me to tell me “hey, your dude is about to get indicted.”  Funny thing happened, though: he never got indicted. I’d like to say it was because I’m a totally awesome lawyer, but that’s not true (if it was, would I be doing this for a living? OK, maybe I would, but still).  The fact is that no one on the outside of these things really ever knows how it’s going to break until it does.

All of that said, this is some rather specific intelligence on the time frame. And to be sure, it involves a guy who was really damn brazen during his testimony in front of Congress and was directly contradicted by another witness. The feds have been investigating Clemens for a long time now, and have been presenting testimony to the grand jury for months.  Just this morning his old boss was talking about a lot more information coming out soon. That tends to happen when someone gets indicted. You get the sense they want him, and in our system if a prosecutor wants someone bad enough, they can at least be fairly confident of getting an indictment. I mean, we’ve all heard the old adage about how you can indict a
ham sandwich, right?

So yeah, this might merely be smoke. But I think there’s enough heat to it that we shouldn’t act all shocked if Roger Clemens is indicted sometime soon.

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.