Yesterday I mused that I’ve heard less chatter about Jake Westbrook than most other available starting pitchers. Seems there’s a good reason why. Take it away Ken Rosenthal:
Westbrook will receive a $2 million bonus if traded, and his salary
would increase by a pro-rated portion of $1 million, according to a copy
of his contract obtained by FOXSports.com.
Thus, if Westbrook is traded on July 31, he would be owed nearly $6
million — approximately $2.3 million in trade bonuses and the remaining
portion of his $11 million salary, which would be approximately $3.6
Yikes. That’s the same amount Roy Oswalt will cost in 2010. If you’re really in a race this year, it may be less than 100% nuts to trade for Oswalt and hope you can unload him again in the offseason. Sure, that’s a giant risk, but you can be pretty sure you’re going to get a lot better production out of Oswalt in 2010 than Westbrook, right?
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.