Elvis Andrus yanked from game for lack of effort

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Rangers manager Ron Washington pulled shortstop Elvis Andrus from Sunday’s loss to the Twins after the youngster made what looked like a lazy throw on a grounder in the bottom of the eighth.

“I didn’t like his attitude,” Washington told the Dallas Morning News. “The inning before there were a couple of plays he didn’t make, but he gave the effort. There are going to be plays that you can’t make. On that play, there wasn’t energy. Elvis is better than that. I didn’t chew him out, but I let him know that.”

The errant throw resulted in Andrus’ second error of the game.  The previous error in the seventh contributed to five unearned runs, and Andrus had a second ball that he failed to get to as part of that big inning for the Twins.

“I was still a little upset, I think about the inning before,” Andrus said. “I got upset with myself and I think that was still bothering me because I didn’t help the pitcher out. But things happen. There is no excuse. There’s nothing really that I can say about it.”

It doesn’t sound like the incident will put Andrus back on the bench Tuesday against the Yankees.  He has been awfully error prone this season, with 13 miscues already, but he’s also made a lot of great plays and the Rangers are pretty happy with how he’s contributing offensively. Hopefully this will end up being just a one-time thing.

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.