Matt Kemp is back playing center field and batting third for the Dodgers on Monday after taking a seat in Sunday’s loss to the Cubs. He’s been nursing a tight left hamstring.
Kemp did make an appearance Sunday to keep his consecutive games streak alive, flying out as a pinch-hitter. Tonight’s game will extend the streak to 393 games.
He talked about that on Sunday:
“The streak does mean something to me, to play every day, but still I don’t want to do something stupid to put my teammates in a situation where they lose me for one or two weeks,” he said. “It could be only one day and maybe this is the day and I can get back to play San Francisco. It feels weird watching the team play.”
Tony Gwynn Jr. went 0-for-3 in Kemp’s place Sunday as the Dodgers lost 4-3 to the Cubs.
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.