Scott Boras on Manny Ramirez: pretty reasonable, actually

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Manny Ramirez’s agent Scott Boras said Monday that he’s looking for an incentive-laden one-year contract. Specifically he said:

“It’s just like Vlad Guerrero. His last Angels season, where he had an injury season and he had 50 RBI, was not a customary Vlad Guerrero season. He went to Texas and reestablished himself. This is really the course for great veteran hitters.”

Part of me was convinced that Boras was going to pull that “Ramirez is the right-handed Ted Williams, he will increase ticket sales by eleventy-seven percent and thus should be paid in virgins and platinum” act in hyping Ramirez this winter, but it turns out that he’s being pretty darn realistic about things.  Vlad Guerrero got a $5.5. million deal with a mutual option for 2011 and $1 million buyout, which was just exercised by the Rangers.  I think Ramirez stands a great chance of out-producing Vlad’s 2010 line next season, and if anyone gets him for $6.5 million, they’re getting a great deal.

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.