Via Michael O’Keefe of the New York Daily News:
The diamond-studded, 2009 World Series ring A-Rod gave his cousin Yuri Sucart — the man Rodriguez says talked him into using steroids — will go on sale Monday, and sports memorabilia auctioneer Ken Goldin says it could fetch as much as $40,000.
Major League Baseball banned Sucart from the Yankees’ facilities in the spring of 2009 after Rodriguez told reporters that he had experimented with performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 and that they were administered by his “cousin Yuri.”
But it’s clear that the two have maintained a close relationship. Sucart was spotted on road trips with the Yankees in 2010 and 2011, and his name was discovered alongside A-Rod’s in the Biogenesis documents released last month by the Miami New Times. The ring has “Rodriguez” emblazoned on one side.
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.