Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer checks in with an update on Carlos Santana’s progress trying to transition from catcher to third base and … well, it ain’t going perfectly:
Right now, Lonnie Chisenhall and every other third basemen in camp look better than Santana when it comes to defense.
No.1 Santana hasn’t gotten a lot of chances. No. 2 when he gotten a chance, he’s s looked stiff and uncomfortable. Maybe things will improve when he starts playing two or three games in a row.
Also of note is that Hoynes suggests the fallback plan for Santana if things don’t work at third base is to become the full-time designated hitter rather than moving back to catcher, where Yan Gomes has apparently cemented his status as the starter.
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.