Jake Marisnick will get the squeeze when Christian Yelich returns from the DL

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Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich will return from the disabled list on Sunday, and when he does, he’ll take back his spot in left field, while Marcell Ozuna will slide back to center field, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports. As a result, Jake Marisnick — who has been playing in center field with Yelich absent — will be squeezed out and could even be sent back to Triple-A.

Yelich, 22, has been on the disabled list since June 14 with a lower back strain. Prior to the injury, he slashed .259/.342/.418 with six home runs, 24 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.

Marisnick, 23, has struggled in 47 plate appearances at the major league level. Entering Saturday’s action, he is slashing .159/.213/.159 with no homers or RBI and five stolen bases. Entering the season, Marisnick ranked among baseball’s 100 best prospects according to both Baseball America and MLB.com.

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.