Grady Sizemore’s feel good story of a comeback in Boston is over, as the Red Sox have designated the outfielder for assignment to make room on the roster for third base prospect Garin Cecchini’s call-up.
Sizemore got off to an impressive start after missing all of 2012 and 2013 with injuries, but then hit just .187 with zero homers and a .530 OPS over a 43-game stretch from April 15 to June 15. Overall he hit .216 with two homers and a 41/19 K/BB ratio in 52 games, producing a measly .612 OPS that ranks 83rd out of 93 outfielders with at least 150 plate appearances.
Sizemore can surely find another team willing to take a flier on him via a minor-league deal, but sadly it’s looking likely that all the injuries and missed time have the three-time All-Star seeming washed up at age 31.
Cecchini briefly made his MLB debut for the Red Sox on June 1 before heading back to Triple-A, where he’s hit .263 with two homers and a .673 OPS in 62 games as a 23-year-old. That’s unimpressive production, but Cecchini was 74th on Baseball America’s list of prospects heading into the season. He’s played exclusively third base in the minors and the Red Sox have Xander Bogaerts there after re-signing Stephen Drew to play shortstop, so it’s unclear whether Cecchini is in their plans for more than another brief stint.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there has been no suggestion that the O’s and their young star have worked on a contract extension, strongly suggesting that Machado will test the open market next offseason.
While the Orioles have not said much about keeping him or trading him, yesterday considerable chatter filtered out here at the Winter Meetings suggests that they are serious about trading him now in order to get more than a draft pick in return when he eventually leaves Baltimore.
Jon Heyman reported yesterday that the Cardinals were a possible landing spot, and others have speculated that, at the moment, they’re the frontrunners for his services. Buster Olney, in a development that would make people go insane, I suspect, that the Yankees have expressed interest. It seems highly unlikely, though, that the Orioles would trade Machado within the division. Even if they did, they’d likely expect a premium from the Yankees that they would be unwilling to pay, especially given that they could easily wait Machado out until he was a free agent next year and give up nothing but cash for him. A couple of days ago we noted that the Phillies had expressed interest and the Orioles were doing their due diligence with respect to their farm system.
As far as the possible parameters of a deal, Ken Rosenthal reported that the O’s hope to acquire at least two controllable young starters in return. That’s a high price for a one-year Machado rental, but it makes sense for the Orioles to ask it. For Machado’s part, he reportedly wants to return to his original position, shortstop. He does not have no-trade protection, of course, so that may be a wish that is not fulfilled.
Machado had a down 2017, hitting .259/.310/.471, but still hit 33 homers and drove in 95 runs. In the two years prior, however, he posted OPSs of .876 and .861, and he’s still just 25. All of which is to say that the price for a team to acquire him will be high, even if he’s entering his walk year.