Last week Bobby Valentine made headlines for saying he wanted to punch WEEI radio host Glenn Ordway following what the Red Sox manager thought was an obnoxious question.
Valentine was back on WEEI and Ordway’s show this afternoon and jokingly brought boxing gloves to the studio.
In addition to proving (or at least attempting to show) that he’s a good sport Valentine also said he plans to manage the Red Sox in 2013 “and beyond” amid speculation that he’ll be fired after the season.
Here’s the full quote, via Paul Flannery of WEEI.com:
It’s not up to me, but I think I will be, yeah. And beyond. Why would I say that I want to be here for 2013 as though that’s going to be the end of something? That will be the continuation and hopefully the beginning of something really special. Why would I think it’s going to be a year’s job?
Well, for starters because Valentine’s contract has one more year on it. But whatever.
He was also asked about Kevin Youkilis being traded to the White Sox following a reported feud with Valentine and noted that Youkilis’ batting average hasn’t risen since the deal, saying: “I just want to point out that I’m not the reason he was batting .238.”
That’s technically true. Youkils had a .233 batting average for the Red Sox and has a .234 batting average for the White Sox. Of course, his OPS has risen 100 points since the trade and he’s homered 12 times in 61 games for Chicago.
There’s more potentially quotable stuff from the radio interview, but I’m just about Valentine’d out.
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.