We had statement after statement after statement about the Scott Cousins Buster Posey thing late last week and over the weekend, but maybe, just maybe, we’re reaching the end of the soap opera portion of this story:
Giants manager Brian Sabean and Scott Cousins apparently made peace over the weekend. The Chronicle has learned that Sabean and the Marlins’ outfielder spoke by phone Saturday and had what one person familiar with the conversation described as a “heartfelt and apologetic” talk.
And this may be the last we hear about it, because apparently Joe Torre has ordered everyone to shut up about it. Which is probably the best for all of those folks involved. At least assuming it involves statements about statements and apologies for apologies or lack of apologies or whatever round of his rodeo we’re in now.
And of course, Torre’s mandate probably doesn’t extend to Johnny Bench. Perhaps he has someone to whom he can offer an awkward non-apology followed by a more heartfelt one. Or vice-versa, depending on which side of things you’re sitting.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.
The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.
The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.