Free agent left-hander Joe Saunders has already been linked to the Orioles and now Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson also “intrigues” them.
Connolly speculates that Jackson will wind up with a four-year contract somewhere and notes that “the Orioles have been hesitant” to make that type of commitment to free agent pitchers in the past.
Because of that their focus may be on Saunders, who figures to be available cheaper and for a shorter commitment.
Jackson, much like Prince Fielder, is a Scott Boras client still on the market long after most of the other top free agents have signed, so gauging his remaining options is difficult.
Jackson threw 200 innings with a 3.79 ERA and 148/62 K/BB ratio last season and at age 28 is younger than most free agent starters, but he’s also pitched for six teams in the past seven seasons and owns a 4.46 career ERA.
The Phillies and White Sox have dominated much of the conversation around free agent Manny Machado this winter, but Andy Martino of SNY says that they may have some stiff competition as the clock winds down to Opening Day. Two mystery teams have been recently linked to the slugger, and Fancred’s Jon Heyman adds that one of them currently has the high bid, though they’re not considered his “preferred landing spot.”
There’s little sense in putting any stock in these kinds of rumors, of course, but it’ll be interesting to see how Machado’s camp responds in the weeks to come. The 26-year-old’s father, Manuel, added some fuel to the fire on Friday after taking an interview with Z101 Digital, saying, “I believe that the team you will probably less think about is the one that’s going to sign Manny Machado.”
Whether that’s in reference to the Yankees, who are apparently still in the conversation, or a true unknown team remains to be seen. Machado has given little, if any indication that he’s leaning toward a particular club, but is generally expected to be more receptive to whichever suitor feels inclined to meet his 10-year, $300 million asking price. At the very least, Manuel’s comments may help light a fire under the Phillies and White Sox as they continue to mull over a potential deal with the four-time All-Star.