Who declared it “Lance Berkman Day” around here? In any case, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are the latest team to express interest in the veteran slugger, joining the Rangers, Astros, Orioles and Rays.
Of course, Berkman had a pretty miserable time after being traded from the Astros to the Yankees in 2010, as he batted just .255/.358/.349 with one homer and a .707 OPS in 37 games. It’s not clear whether he’d consider a return to New York given that he’s actively talking to both Texas teams. But hey, you can’t blame Brian Cashman for trying to infuse some youth into the roster.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Orioles “are moving aggressively on Manny Machado trade talks and now believe they can trade him by the end of the week.” There are reportedly “strong offers” for Machado from both the White Sox, per Ken Rosenthal, and the Cardinals, per Nightengale. The Giants, Red Sox, Phillies, and Yankees are also reportedly involved in talks, though it does seem unlikely that the O’s would trade Machado to a division rival.
Machado, 25, is a guy around which a team could build a franchise. The Orioles, however, seem resigned to the notion that they will not be able to sign him to a long term contract once he hits free agency a year from now. If they do deal him, it would not be terribly shocking to see the O’s just go all-in with a full rebuild, putting relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones on the market, given that they too can become free agents following the 2018 season.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior he posted OPSs of .876 and .861. As such, the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.