So I guess this whole Mets-Walter Reed Hospital thing isn't going to die

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If only the people who work for the Mets got as bent out of shape about the team sucking as they do these silly little controversies . . .

Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez can add a missed visit to a military hospital to the Mets’ laundry list of issues with them.

According to a clubhouse source, COO Jeff Wilpon wasn’t happy that the trio of underachievers skipped the team’s visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center on Tuesday . . . The absence of Beltran, Castillo and Perez raised some eyebrows within the organization . . .

I’d love to have a list of the players from other teams who didn’t make the trip to Walter Reed, because I’m guessing (a) there’s a healthy number of them; and (b) no one ever made a fuss about it. For that matter, I’d love to see the names of U.S. players who visited Canadian veterans during series with the Blue Jays (Perez and Castillo aren’t from the U.S., after all).

Not that those guys have totally distinguished themselves here. Beltran explains in the article that he had a meeting regarding his own charitable foundation that conflicted with the Reed visit, so that’s cool. Perez wouldn’t comment. Castillo, however, probably would have been better not commenting himself:

“I
don’t like to see people like that, so I never go there,” Castillo
said. “Sometimes you see people with no legs, no arms. I don’t like to
see that.”

Um, yeah.  Hey, here’s an idea: why don’t we just end this by agreeing that Castillo is kind of a jerk but that it’s otherwise a non-issue?

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.