There will be no Triple Crown winner in 2010

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After last night’s two-homer affair down in Atlanta by Albert Pujols, the NL home run leader board looks like this:

Albert Pujols: 39
Adam Dunn: 34
Joey Votto: 33
Carlos Gonzalez/Mark Reynolds 32

The NL batting average leader board looks like this:

Carlos Gonzalez: .337
Troy Tulowitzki: .323
Joey Votto: .320
Martin Prado: .315
Starlin Castro: .312
Albert Pujols: .309

Baseball is amazing and everything, but it’s not so amazing that either (a) Joey Votto is going to out-homer Pujols by six in the last three weeks of the season and make up 17 points in average on Gonzalez; (b) that Gonzalez is going to out-homer Votto, Dunn and Pujols down the stretch; or (c) that Pujols is going to make up around 30 points in average.

It was fun while it lasted, but the 2010 season will close, once again, with no triple crown winner.

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.