The Twins have had two managers in 27 years and have shown a willingness to stick with their boss whether times are good or times are bad. Could that be changing? Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune spoke to the Twins owner about Ron Gardenhire’s job security and wonders:
Meanwhile, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is without a contract after this year. Pohlad said Gardenhire’s status will be evaluated after the season. Is there any reason he won’t be back?
“Well, that’s Terry’s decision, but he’ll consult with all of us,” said Pohlad, who added that nothing has been decided.
It was interesting that Pohlad made it clear Ryan will be around in the future but refused to say the same about Gardenhire.
My thoughts about managers don’t change depending on what team it is: if management has confidence in the guy and he hasn’t lost the clubhouse there is little to think that he’s the biggest problem as opposed to the talent level. So, no, I don’t think deciding against giving Ron Gardenhire a contract for next year would be a real difference maker. But you do have to think that a lot of people in Minnesota feel differently about that.
Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.
The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.
The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.
The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.