Indians get prospect Zach McAllister from Yankees

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The player to be named in the Austin Kearns deal was announced Friday, and the Indians ended up acquiring right-hander Zach McAllister from the Bombers to complete the deal.
I’ve always viewed McAllister as an overrated prospect, but he’s a nice return for someone who had no place in Cleveland’s future plans. The 22-year-old was 8-10 with a 5.09 ERA, 165 H and 88/38 K/BB in 132 2/3 innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season.
Baseball America rated McAllister as the Yankees’ No. 5 prospect entering 2010. That came after he posted a 2.09 ERA for two A-ball teams in 2009 and a 2.23 ERA in 22 Double-A starts last year.
McAllister, though, has gotten fewer groundballs with each step he’s taken up the ladder. He’s actually been a modest flyball pitcher the last two years, and he hasn’t countered that by picking up more strikeouts. After surrendering just four homers in 2009, he’s given up 20 this year.
McAllister does have good command, and if he goes back to relying more on his sinking fastball, he could have a chance of making it as a fourth or fifth starter. He wasn’t on that path in the Yankee system, though.

The Orioles seem pretty serious about moving Manny Machado

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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there has been no suggestion that the O’s and their young star have worked on a contract extension, strongly suggesting that Machado will test the open market next offseason.

While the Orioles have not said much about keeping him or trading him, yesterday considerable chatter filtered out here at the Winter Meetings suggests that they are serious about trading him now in order to get more than a draft pick in return when he eventually leaves Baltimore.

Jon Heyman reported yesterday that the Cardinals were a possible landing spot, and others have speculated that, at the moment, they’re the frontrunners for his services. Buster Olney, in a development that would make people go insane, I suspect, that the Yankees have expressed interest. It seems highly unlikely, though, that the Orioles would trade Machado within the division. Even if they did, they’d likely expect a premium from the Yankees that they would be unwilling to pay, especially given that they could easily wait Machado out until he was a free agent next year and give up nothing but cash for him. A couple of days ago we noted that the Phillies had expressed interest and the Orioles were doing their due diligence with respect to their farm system.

As far as the possible parameters of a deal, Ken Rosenthal reported that the O’s hope to acquire at least two controllable young starters in return. That’s a high price for a one-year Machado rental, but it makes sense for the Orioles to ask it. For Machado’s part, he reportedly wants to return to his original position, shortstop. He does not have no-trade protection, of course, so that may be a wish that is not fulfilled.

Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior, however, he posted OPSs of .876 and .861, and he’s still just 25. All of which is to say that the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.