According to Scott Miller of CBSSports.com, the Padres will receive compensation if (or really, when) general manager Jed Hoyer and assistant general manager Jason McLeod leave to join the new-look Cubs’ front office.
Hoyer, who has served as GM for the past two seasons, is under contract with the Padres through 2013 with a club option for 2014. He is expected to receive a five-year contract with “a significant bump in pay from his current salary” to join his friend Theo Epstein in Chicago. Hoyer previously served as one of Epstein’s top assistants with the Red Sox while McLeod was director of amateur scouting.
Initial reports suggested that the Padres would not demand compensation, but Miller writes that they will likely receive one or two lower-level minor leaguers in return. The good news is that talks between the Cubs and Padres aren’t likely to be as complicated as the Epstein situation, as Dan Hayes of the North County Times notes that Chicago chairman Tom Ricketts and San Diego majority owner Jeff Moorad are close. Josh Byrnes, who is currently the Padres’ vice president of baseball operations, is expected to take over as GM once Hoyer and McLeod leave for Chicago.
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.