If Sandy Alderson was trying to win over Mets fans with yesterday’s release of Luis Castillo, he’s off to a roaring start.
One of the overlooked side benefits of cutting Castillo was that his No. 1 was put back into circulation. This is notable because Mookie Wilson, who will serve as first base coach this season, wore that very same number during his entire 10-year tenure with the Mets.
And it didn’t take Wilson long to reclaim his old digs. According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com, he’s already donning his familiar No. 1 in Orlando for today’s game against the Braves.
That’s right. In less than 24 hours the Mets have went from one of the least popular figures in recent franchise history wearing No. 1 to one of the most beloved. Nicely done, Sandy.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.
Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.