The Yankees have hired Jim Hendry

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When he was let go from the Cubs’ GM gig late last season, I thought “well, we won’t have Jim Hendry to kick around anymore.”  Guess I was wrong, because ESPN Chicago reports that the Yankees have hired Hendry as an assistant to Brian Cashman.

In all honesty, we really don’t have him to kick around. Quick: name the last time an assistant GM made news for any reason?  At least one that wasn’t some 35-year-old GM-in-waiting.  Yeah, it’s not exactly a high-profile job, even with the Yankees.

But it’s good news. Hendry may not have made as many good decisions as the Cubs’ GM as bad ones, but like I’ve said a lot of times, you don’t get to be a GM of a major league baseball team unless you’ve excelled on the way to that job in the first place, so the man certainly has something to offer the Yankees.  Plus: he’s a damn nice guy.

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.