Jacob deGrom had to work his butt off to get where he is. A converted shortstop, he has climbed through the Mets system for the past three seasons, pitching well at times, but never getting the press or the push that his better-pedigreed colleagues like Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler andNoah Syndergaard have received. And for good reason, of course. His stuff is not as noteworthy. He’s already 26. It’s not like he had “superstar” stamped on his forehead.
But whatever his promise is and whatever his future holds, his recent performance has been quite a thing. Last night he allowed one run in seven innings while striking out seven in beating the Mariners. Over his last six starts he’s 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He’s 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA over his past three, walking three and striking out 26 in those three games. Last night he was particularly dominant, dialing it up to a consistent 94 m.p.h. and getting 14 swings-and-misses from M’s batters.
Is this indicative of what he’ll always do? Doubtful. But he’s been quite a revelation for the Mets this season. And just the latest bit of evidence that the Mets’ future is looking pretty bright.
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.