UPDATE: According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Garcia will be removed from the NLDS roster due to his shoulder injury.
The Cardinals can replace Garcia on the roster, but this makes him ineligible to pitch if the club advances to the NLCS. Of course, depending upon the severity of the injury, it’s possible he won’t be available anyway.
Interestingly, Strauss notes that several of Garcia’s teammates are “furious” over the situation. It’s not clear what they are furious about exactly, but Garcia told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com he has been bothered by shoulder discomfort since Friday. According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Garcia did not say anything to the Cardinals until today’s game.
8:43 PM: Here’s some potentially troubling news for the Cardinals.
According to Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Jaime Garcia aggravated his left shoulder injury during his start in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals this afternoon and was sent for an MRI.
Garcia allowed one run on two hits and three walks over just two innings this afternoon before exiting. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny pinch-hit for him during a four-run second inning and his shoulder was apparently the reason for his abbreviated outing.
Garcia missed over two months earlier this year due to a shoulder strain, so there’s a chance he could be done for the rest of the postseason. Lance Lynn, who tossed three innings in relief this afternoon, would likely take his spot in the starting rotation if the Cardinals advance to the NLCS.
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.