Royals want a player, not a prospect, for Jonathan Broxton

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That according to FOXSports.com’s Jon Morosi:

Broxton, who was signed to set up Joakim Soria this season, has a 1.99 ERA and 21 saves in 24 opportunities as Kansas City’s closer. Still, the Royals would likely be OK without him, as they’d still have some combination of Greg Holland, Aaron Crow and Tim Collins to pitch the final two or three innings.

It’s a given that if the Royals want a major leaguer for Broxton then they’re looking to upgrade their rotation. But the list of contenders that would spare a starter in return for a closer isn’t long, if it exists at all. With Roy Halladay on the way back, the Phillies might be open to trading Joe Blanton to bring in Broxton as an eighth-inning guy, but that’s not the kind of guy the Royals are looking for.

The best possibility I can see is with the Mets. They could send Dillon Gee to Kansas City for Broxton and then call up Matt Harvey to take his rotation spot. Still, I don’t think I’d make that trade if I were the Mets. A half-season of Broxton isn’t worth 4 1/2 of Gee. Maybe if the Royals included Jose Mijares as well, giving the Mets two bullpen upgrades.

Still, my guess is that when Broxton goes — and it probably is a matter of when — it’s simply for a prospect or two. The Royals aren’t completely out of the mix in the weak AL Central, but they’re also not really a fourth starter away from becoming a contender.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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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.