Blue Jays call up Liam Hendriks, designate Esmil Rogers for assignment

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TheStar.com reports that the Blue Jays have designated reliever Esmil Rogers for assignment and have called up Liam Hendriks from Triple-A Buffalo to make his 2014 debut in Friday’s start against the Athletics.

Rogers, 24, struggled for the Jays out of the bullpen, posting a 6.97 ERA with five home runs allowed despite a 21/7 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings. The defense-independent numbers speak to a pitcher who deserved better results than the performance merited, but he entered the season with a career 5.52 ERA.

Hendriks, 25, had been pitching well in the minors. In 48 2/3 innings over seven starts and two relief appearances, Hendriks posted a 1.48 ERA with a 36/3 K/BB ratio. The Australian had an interesting winter, as he was selected off of waivers from the Twins by the Cubs on December 13. Then he was selected off of waivers by the Orioles ten days later. On February 21, the Jays selected him off of waivers from the O’s.

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.