Morgan making amends, invites Phillies fan to game

5 Comments

Nationals outfielder Nyjer Morgan is currently serving an eight-game suspension for a string of violent and unsportsmanlike acts that culminated with a benches-clearing brawl on September 1 at the Marlins’ Sun Life Stadium.  Those incidents tarnished his image somewhat in the public eye, and he’s hoping to make things right.

Morgan was excused from a seven-game punishment for accidentally throwing a ball at a fan at Philadelphia’s Citizen Bank Park in mid-August, but he contacted that fan this week anyway and invited him to Sunday’s Nationals vs. Phillies game. 

According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, Morgan gave the fan a free ticket behind the Nats’ dugout in Philly and a pregame field pass.

He declined to talk to the media about the generous gesture, a hint that it probably was sincere.

Morgan, 30, is batting .258/.318/.318 this season with 23 RBI and 33 stolen bases in 128 games this season.  He has been watching games from the Nationals’ general manager box with Mike Rizzo and  is eligible to return to the club’s starting lineup on September 25.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

Greg Fiume/Getty Images
Leave a comment

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.