Andy Pettitte: Man of Mystery

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Buster Olney on the return of Andy Pettitte:

The Yankees have structured Pettitte’s comeback in such a way that the
Rays will not get a last look at the veteran before the start of the
playoffs.

Andy Pettitte has pitched in 526 baseball games over the past 16 seasons. 31 of those games have come against the Rays. He hasn’t altered his pitching style since the first day I laid eyes on him. The only pitcher with whom the Rays are likely to have a greater familiarity is whoever throws BP at Tropicana Field.

Know what? I think a “last look at the veteran before the start of the playoffs” wouldn’t matter all that much.

Orioles “have begun fielding calls of interest” on Manny Machado

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”

You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.

Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.

Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.