Ken Rosenthal reports that the Royals and Jonathan Broxton have agreed to a one-year deal. It’s done pending a physical. UPDATE: Heyman says it’s a $4 million deal.
A physical isn’t purely academic in Broxton’s case given that he’s coming off elbow surgery — and you have to figure the doctor is going to yell at him about his cholesterol — but assuming that’s done, this should be a nice pickup for the Royals. Broxton wants to make good so he can be a well-paid closer again in 2013, so it’s likely an incentive-laden deal.
The more interesting question will be his role. The Royals obviously have Joakim Soria closing things out, but he could be really valuable as a trade candidate or possibly could be converted into a starter. People have been saying it about him and the Royals for years, but a team where the Royals are now don’t need An Established Closer.
Worst case, though: the Royals bullpen — already as strength — gets stronger. That sound you hear is even more people preparing to jump on the “The Royals Are Lookin’ Frisky” bandwagon next spring.
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.