As of late last month there were numerous reports about the Angels and Mike Trout working on a massive long-term contract extension, but as Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com notes that talk has gone silent recently.
Gonzalez asked Trout what the extension rumors being quiet meant and here’s how the Angels center fielder replied:
I haven’t heard anything, either. Is that good or bad? Uh, I don’t know if it’s good or bad. I’m just getting ready for the season, worried about getting off to a good start.
Trout indicated that there hasn’t been a snag in the negotiations, but mostly he just didn’t want to talk about the situation at all.
Unlike, say, Max Scherzer’s extension talks with the Tigers there’s no strict self-imposed deadline in Trout’s case and he’s under the Angels’ control through 2017.
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.