Manny Ramirez has been equal parts injured and ineffective at Triple-A, going 9-for-37 (.243) with zero extra-base hits while missing multiple games with leg soreness.
He was eligible to return from a 50-game suspension last week, but the A’s quickly ruled that out and today general manager Billy Beane told Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News that … well, basically no one has any idea when Ramirez might be back in the majors:
Until he’s on the field on a regular basis and we see where he’s at from a baseball standpoint, we’re really not in a position where we’re ready to make a decision. We said from Day 1 that nothing is set in stone.
Beane went on to hint that the A’s may simply decide that Ramirez is no longer worth the trouble, admitting: “As you get deeper into the season, that is a question you’ve gotta ask yourself.”
On the other hand they can basically re-start the 30-day rehab window at any time because he’s been injured, extending his stay in the minors, and the A’s will only be on the hook for $500,000 if they do decide to promote Ramirez at some point.
Right now, though, he can’t even stay in the lineup at Triple-A, let alone beat up on Triple-A pitching.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.
The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.
The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.