UPDATE: Jimenez passed his physical, so the blockbuster trade sending him to the Indians for a four-prospect package led by 2010 first-round pick Drew Pomeranz is now official.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that McBride’s injury won’t hold up the deal.
Ubaldo Jimenez is reportedly undergoing a physical exam right now, but even if he gets a clean bill of health there might be a different holdup in the big Rockies-Indians trade.
According to Nick Camino of WTAM-1100 in Cleveland, one of the four prospects reportedly headed to the Indians, first baseman Matt McBride, is “in an Akron hospital with an eye fracture.”
Drew Pomeranz is already included in the deal as a “player to be named later” because the 2010 first-round pick isn’t eligible to officially be traded yet, so it’s possible McBride could fall into the same category while the Rockies wait to see on the severity of the injury.
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.