Some men just want to watch the world burn.
Men like A-Rod’s lawyers, who told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that they’re going to break confidentiality of the arbitration tomorrow and give all of the juicy stuff they say they have to the press:
“We’re going to open up everything,” said Ron Berkowitz, a spokesman for Rodriguez. “We’re going to show everything we have to the press so they can show it to the American public.”
Matthews speculates that the dump would include transcripts of witness testimony, sworn affidavits and information supplied to the Rodriguez team by an MLB-employee “whistle-blower.”
They can do that. And it can potentially embarrass Major League Baseball. But I don’t see how it changes their clients’ legal position. The arbitrator is still going to rule. The barriers that must be leapt to get out from under that penalty and into federal court remain exceedingly high.
At one time I assumed the scorched earth tactics were to force MLB to the settlement table. The league seems to have no desire to do that. So now, unless someone can tell me what this does for A-Rod tactically, this seems like spite and P.R. strategy.
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.