Brendan Ryan is a great defensive shortstop, but he’s hitting .143 this season after hitting .194 last year and the Mariners have decided to bench him.
Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Robert Andino will take over as the starting shortstop, with Ryan shifting into a utility man role. Of course, Andino is hitting just .163 this season and is a career .233 hitter with a .615 OPS that’s actually lower than Ryan’s career .626 mark.
Andino also hasn’t played shortstop regularly in a while, starting more than 25 games there for the last time back in 2009, and will almost surely be a sizable downgrade from Ryan. Seattle has a lot bigger problems offensively than which light-hitting shortstop plays most, but manager Eric Wedge obviously feels like he has to do something.
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.