Steve Phillips of MLB Network Radio reports that one or more of the prospects headed from the Dodgers to the Orioles in the Manny Machado deal have issues with their physicals. As a result, the trade may have hit a snag and the door may be open for other clubs. So far, it appears that Phillips is the only one reporting this, but things have otherwise been quiet on the Machado front since last night’s news.
According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, Dodgers outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz is believed to be the centerpiece of the deal. The Dodgers apparently prefer to hold on to pitching prospect Dustin May and middle infield prospect Gavin Lux.
The first-place Dodgers have been playing Chris Taylor at shortstop since Corey Seager went down with a season-ending injury. The club has also gotten minimal production out of second base, which has mostly been handled by Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley. Adding Machado to play shortstop would allow Taylor to move over to second base.
Machado, 26, hit .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances in the first half. Defensive metrics have rated his defense at shortstop as subpar, uncharacteristically.
MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.
Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.
After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.
Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.
Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.