Jason Marquis ready to return three months after surgery

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Jason Marquis tossed six innings of two-run ball in a rehab start last night at Triple-A and Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com reports that he’s ready to rejoin the Nationals’ rotation following May elbow surgery.
Whether or not the Nationals are ready to welcome him back is another issue.
Marquis went 0-3 with a brutal 20.52 ERA before the surgery and the Nationals may not be ready to bump Craig Stanmen from the rotation quite yet if he pitches well tomorrow. And soon after that they’re hoping to get Stephen Strasburg back in the mix.
Marquis is making $7.5 million this season and is owed another $7.5 million next year, so as Goessling notes the Nationals aren’t going to keep him in the minors for a whole lot longer either way. He obviously has less than zero trade value at this point–and signing him never made any sense to me in the first place–but if healthy could potentially be counted on as a back-of-the-rotation starter in 2011.

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.