Play of the Day: an apparently uncatchable infield popup in New York

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Yankees fans have likely seen this already and gnashed their teeth over it in appropriate measure. Or maybe in disproportionate measure, seeing as though the one run it led to didn’t matter given that the Yankees were shutout. Still, it was a monumentally poor effort for all involved.

Ninth inning, nobody out, Alexi Ramirez at bat. He pops up between the mound and short, and … no one gets it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played any kind of baseball, but my fuzzy memory tells me that, even though it was closer to Rafael Soriano, that’s Jeter’s ball, because pitchers are taught not to go back over the mound in an effort to field baseballs because therein lie broken ankles and stuff.  Assuming that’s the right call, the bad is on Jeter for snoozing when the ball left the bat and not recovering in time.

But hey, at least everything else is going well for him this month.

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.