With Joe Mauer and Drew Butera banged up, it was revealed Friday that the Twins were calling up Double-A catcher Chris Herrmann to help out behind the plate. That decision, however, isn’t sitting well with veteran Rene Rivera, who was Triple-A Rochester’s primary catcher this year:
It seems Rivera thought he was promised the callup should the Twins add an extra catcher.
Neither Rivera nor Herrmann was on the 40-man roster, so that had nothing to do with the choice. It likely came down to the fact that Herrmann is something of a prospect as a potential backup, while Rivera is just a journeyman who probably wasn’t going to be back in the organization next year anyway.
Still, Rivera is the second scorned Twin this year to take to twitter to voice his displeasure with the organization. Former prospect Dan Osterbrock did so in May after the Twins misdiagnosed his arm problems and released him.
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.