Just last week, the trade rumors centered around Manny Machado included the idea of the clearly rebuilding White Sox trading for the Orioles’ star third baseman in an effort to flip him to a contending team. While Bruce Levine of 670 The Score is reporting that the White Sox (and the Cubs, for that matter) are still in contact with Baltimore regarding Machado, it sounds like the Orioles’ patience is running thin. In addition to trying to somehow make it so that any team who trades for Machado won’t subsequently flip him to, say, the Yankees, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports is now saying that the O’s could potentially pull Machado off of the trading block altogether.
Things change very quickly in the baseball world and the Orioles’ Plan B has already fallen through. The secondary plan for Baltimore would’ve been to put closer Zach Britton on the trade block. Plan B sprouted wings and soared into the cold winter sky when news broke on Wednesday morning that Britton ruptured his Achilles’ tendon during a workout. He’s going to miss significant regular season action and the Orioles have no chance of trading him this offseason. They may have to go back to Plan A of shopping Machado.
For what it’s worth, the Orioles are remaining patient. Front office boss Dan Duquette didn’t tell Roch Kubatko of MASN too much, but it’s still clear that if Baltimore gets the right offer for Machado, they will trade him. It just doesn’t seem like they’re going to be as aggressive when it comes to shopping him as they have been earlier in the offseason. The Britton injury may change things, but for now the Orioles are keeping things close to the vest.
Yu Darvish is getting plenty of attention, and depending on which side of the Pacific Ocean you want to listen to, either the Cubs or Yankees are emerging as leading suitors. Late last week, Nikkan Sports in Japan was the first to report that the Cubs were in on Darvish and sure enough, the Cubs ended up having a meeting with the 31-year-old righty in Dallas (all signs point towards that meeting going well).
While reports out of the Far East were all over Darvish being connected with the Cubs, the Yankees’ own TV network is indicating that New York could be gearing up to pursue him as well. A.J. Herrmann of the YES Network reported that since the Yankees appear to be out on Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole, they could be viewing Darvish as the alternative option. While there aren’t any reports of a meeting just yet, it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see one happen in the near future.
While Ken Rosenthal corroborated the rumors of New York’s interest, he also noted that the Yankees would have to “get creative” in order to sign him. Basically, they’d have to wait until the price drops and also try to cut some already existing payroll so that they don’t have any luxury tax worries. On the other hand, the Cubs have plenty of room to maneuver in that department, so they could probably meet Darvish’s demands without having to “get creative” beyond a very large check.
The Rockies have made it very clear that they’re dead set on improving the bullpen. They retained the services of Jake McGee with a new three-year, $27 million contract and then signed Bryan Shaw to a three-year, $27 million deal as well. Those are both solid bullpen fortifications, and now Jon Heyman has tweeted that Colorado is still trying to sign Addison Reed. Heyman also noted that the Rockies are keeping contact with Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
While it doesn’t seem likely that they’ll re-sign Holland, and Davis may be out of their range, the Rockies may have hit the reliever sweet spot of sorts when it comes to Reed. He’d still serve as a solid addition to Colorado’s bullpen at what appears to be a decent price tag. If the Rockies succeed in signing one of Holland, Davis, or Reed, that would give them one of the best bullpens in the National League on paper.