Frank Robinson was at Orioles camp in Sarasota yesterday to address the team. An Orioles prospect didn’t know who he was. Some people call this sort of thing a teachable moment:
I mean, sure, Robinson had been retired for 20 years by the time the 19-year-old Hart had even been born, but we’re not talking about some borderline major leaguer with Robinson here. No matter how old you are, you can’t call yourself a professional baseball player without knowing the man who hit 586 homers, was the first black manager in baseball history, is one of your own team’s immortals and former managers and who has spent the past couple of decades as a high-ranking executive in the league where you ply your trade.
If Hart doesn’t know who Curt Blefary is, fine, let that slide. But you do not play in the Orioles organization — or really any organization — and not know who Frank Robinson is. Hell, if anything, that paper should be five pages long, not one. And an oral report should be given to the rest of the team during the morning meeting.
(link via Larry Brown Sports)
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.