UPDATE: Few details about how Violet Ripken went missing were available initially, but now WUSA9-TV in Maryland reports that she was “abducted at gunpoint from her home Tuesday morning.”
Here’s an official statement from the Ripken family:
As you now know, our mother was abducted at gunpoint from her home yesterday morning. This has been a very trying time for our family, but we are grateful and relieved that mom is back with us, safe and healthy. We want to thank everyone for their tremendous support, especially all of the law enforcement agencies that worked so hard and quickly. This is on ongoing investigation, so we hope everyone understands that we cannot comment further at this time. Thank you.
UPDATE #2: Police have revealed further details about the abduction, via the Associated Press:
Vi Ripken was kidnapped between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday by a man who forced her into her car, according to Aberdeen police. She was found about 6:15 a.m. Wednesday unharmed in her car near her home in Aberdeen, some 25 miles from Baltimore. … Vi Ripken described her abductor as a tall, thin white man with glasses, but police spokesman Lt. Fred Budnick had no other details.
According to an FBI spokesperson it’s unclear if the abductor knew Ripken’s identity.
Violet Ripken, the 74-year-old mother of Cal Ripken Jr. and Billy Ripken, has been found after being reported missing to Baltimore police.
According to the Baltimore Sun the Ripken family contacted police last night and asked for the public’s help in the search, but she was found this morning and “is home safe.”
You can check the newspaper’s website for further details.
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.