Looks like the Mets are changing plans at first base again

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Last week Mets manager Terry Collins announced that he’d be benching Ike Davis and giving Lucas Duda an opportunity to be the team’s primary first baseman.

Since then Duda has gone 2-for-13 and now Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Collins has decided to give Davis the start at first base tonight.

It could be just a day off for Duda or it could be Collins going back to a time-sharing arrangement at first base, but either way it’s a little bit amusing that his big plan for divvying up playing time at the position lasted less than a week.

As noted at the time, for all of Davis’ struggles during the past couple seasons he’s still basically been every bit as productive as Duda and he certainly has more upside. And whatever the case, 13 at-bats is nothing.

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Report: Phillies interested in Manny Machado; Orioles have done homework on Phillies’ minor league system

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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.