Omar Infante’s diving attempt at a ground ball with the bases loaded yesterday was unsuccessful and left the Marlins second baseman with a fractured right middle finger.
Infante initially remained in the game, but was eventually replaced by Wes Helms and is bound for the disabled list. However, manager Jack McKeon is hopeful that Infante “can come back in a short period of time.”
Infante’s double-play partner, Hanley Ramirez, is already day-to-day with a shoulder injury, so the Marlins are suddenly very thin in the middle infield. Emilio Bonifacio started at shortstop yesterday and Helms, who’d never played an inning at second base before this week, spent half the game there after replacing Infante.
Prior to the injury Infante was having a sub par season, hitting just .274 with three homers and a .674 OPS after three straight years with a mark above .750. The man he replaced at second base, Dan Uggla, has a .709 OPS for the Braves despite hitting below .200 until his recent hot streak.
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.