Report: Albert Pujols’ wife wants him to leave agent

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The Deadspin expose on agent Dan Lozano may not have swayed Albert Pujols, but it did get to his wife, according to SI.com’s Jon Heyman.

Heyman says that the Deadspin stories on Lozano are the talk of the winter meetings, and that while Pujols has maintained he’s staying with his agent, his wife wants him to break off the relationship.

The Deadspin piece that includes accusations of Lozano setting up prospective clients with prostitutes, as well as plenty of other bad behavior, can be found here. A followup was posted last week. Pujols stated after the original article that he had every intention of standing by his agent.

Even though he has a host of well-paid clients, Lozano is still in financial trouble, according to the article, and he’s banking on the approx. $1 million per year Pujols’ new contract will earn him in order to keep his empire going.

However, it seems that Pujols’ wife, Deidre, is more believing of the Deadspin side of things and would prefer to escape the sleaze.

Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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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.