It’s time for the Orioles to think about trading Manny Machado

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The Orioles had Monday off, a brief reprieve from a disastrous start to the season. The club enters May with an 8-20 record, one game behind the Royals for the worst record in baseball. They sit in last place, 13 games out of first place. Baseball Prospectus gives them a 0.2 percent chance to reach the playoffs.

All of this has happened, of course, despite shortstop Manny Machado‘s best efforts. He’s hitting a league-best .361 with a .448 on-base percentage, .676 slugging percentage, 9 home runs, and 22 RBI in 125 plate appearances. Plus his patented Gold Glove-caliber defense.

Machado is a free agent at season’s end. Considering how horrible the Orioles have been thus far, it’s time for the club to consider trading him. The alternative is to simply have him play out the rest of what is almost certainly a lost season in Baltimore, then watch him skate into free agency. By trading him, the Orioles can at least replenish their minor league system with a handful of prospects. The Dodgers, who recently learned that Corey Seager will miss the rest of the season, could be one potential suitor and they certainly have the pieces to make a deal come together.

The only reason the Orioles should hesitate to trade Machado is if they feel the two sides can come to an agreement on a contract extension, but there have been no reports of any progress on that front. The club was “moving aggressively” to trade him this offseason, but didn’t get any tantalizing offers.

Machado has been the face of the Orioles since breaking out as a 20-year-old in 2013. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the business and the Orioles should probably start looking towards the future.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.