Matt Purke, who agreed to a major league deal with the Nationals in August worth $4.4 million, made his first pro start yesterday in the Arizona Fall League. And it didn’t go so well.
Courtesy of Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, here was his line:
1/3 IP, 7 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Ouch. Purke, who fell to the third round in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft due to arm problems, threw just 10 out of 22 pitches for strikes and registered one swinging strike. The 21-year-old southpaw topped out at 92 mph on the radar gun and mostly sat in the 89-91 mph range.
While it’s easy to panic after a poor performance like this, Purke kept things in perspective in a series of Tweets last night:
Sometimes you win sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains Well today it rained and poured and hailed and sleeted and tornadoed.
Just got to get out there and do better next time.
Fortunately for Purke, it’s nearly impossible to do much worse.
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.