Neither do they, apparently.
A couple of weeks after locking up Andre Ethier, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Cuban defector Yasiel Puig a seven-year, $42 million contract in June. Now, as a result of the weekend’s megadeal with the Red Sox, it’s hard to see where he’s ever going to fit in.
1B Adrian Gonzalez – Signed through 2018
LF Carl Crawford – Signed through 2017
CF Matt Kemp – Signed through 2019
RF Andre Ethier – Signed through 2017
The Dodgers’ outfield is completely set for five years beyond this one, and moving Ethier to first base during the back half of his deal is also off the table. Of course, the Dodgers are plenty rich, and they could well pay someone to take Crawford or Ethier come 2014 or ’15. Puig, though, looks like a very expensive excess piece. And with the huge contract, he’s not going to have any trade value at all until he proves he can play in the majors.
Puig, for what it’s worth, has impressed in limited action this season. The 21-year-old went 12-for-30 with four homers in nine games in his stint in the Rookie Arizona League. Since moving up to high-A ball earlier this month, he’s hit .375/.468/.425 with no homers and six steals in 40 at-bats.
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.