Rumor time. And there’s a lot to get into from today …
- This morning, a Milwaukee Brewers rumor circulated regarding a potentially big package being discussed for Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. What was strange about the rumor was not only the size of the package and the fact that it included two Major Leaguers, but the fact that it included the one prospect, Corbin Burnes, the Brewers were reportedly uninterested in parting with for Machado. Naturally, and perhaps expectedly, that rumor has since been shot down:
don't like to shoot down every rumor out there (party because I don't like my own rumors shot down!). but rest easy milwaukeeans, brewers are not sending a package of burnes, broxton and arcia for machado. not all 3. no way.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 11, 2018
- That doesn’t mean the Brewers still won’t do it – they have the pieces to get it done, the roster need, and a unique opportunity to steal the division from the Cubs – but it won’t be that package. If anything, it’ll be less. And in all likelihood, those names were a part of the discussion, just not all in one package.
- In other Brewer news, Jon Morosi claims that Milwaukee and Minnesota have been chatting with a focus on the Twins’ infielders (Eduardo Escobar and Brian Dozier) as a potential alternative to Manny Machado. That could be a leverage-grab, of course, but Dozier, despite his 2018 struggles, was a 5.0-WAR player last season and Escobar is having a brilliant season (126 wRC+. 2.1 WAR). If they’re just fake alternatives, they’re good ones. Morosi also points out that the talks could also be about Lance Lynn, whom the Brewers targeted as a free agent, but that’s not the focus as of now.
- For what it’s worth, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick has heard that each of the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Brewers are, indeed, potential suitors for Dozier, though it all sounds like a back-up plan.
- We may be done with Brewers news for now, but we still have Machado stuff to get through. So continuing on, the Yankees may be less in need of Machado at the moment than some other big-players in his market:
As I said on @MLBNetwork this morning, #Yankees’ need for Machado increases greatly if they trade Miguel Andujar for a controllable pitcher. Unless they do that, they need a starter more than Machado. @MLB
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 11, 2018
- But that could change, as Morosi suggests. And it sounds like the Yankees at least are trying to stay in the mix:
sources: yankees have made a strong offer for manny machado. haven't heard they are the favorite, but they are clearly a player at this point. @Ken_Rosenthal said there was "increased" interest from NYY a couple days ago.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 11, 2018
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 11, 2018
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) July 11, 2018
- Sheffield, 22, and making his first go at AAA, is generally considered a top 30 to 50ish prospect in the game.
- Man, just think about that Yankees offense if they added Machado. Him, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Aaron Hicks, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Brett Gardner, Miguel Andujar … my word.
- In addition on Machado, the Indians appear to have seriously entered the conversation. “In Manny Machado trade talks,” Morosi wrote on Twitter, “Orioles have asked that Indians include one of the organization’s top young pitchers, Triston McKenzie or Shane Bieber, who has a 3.47 ERA in six MLB starts and is currently on the 25-man roster.”
- Given that McKenzie is a top 20ish prospect in all of baseball and Bieber has flashed some success at the big league level as a 23-year-old, you gotta think these are pipe dreams for the Orioles, but who knows. It just takes one team to get desperate. And in case you’re wondering, no, the Cubs couldn’t realistically match an offer of this caliber – especially not without dabbling in the big league roster.
- Obviously, there are all kinds of different packages that might entice the Orioles, but they’re pretty clearly looking for prospect-types in the top 30-40 range, and that’s just not something the Cubs have right now.
- Setting the Cubs part of this aside (permanently?), your obvious rooting interest here is that Machado is not dealt to the Brewers, or, if he is, that the return is shockingly large.
- At ESPN, Jerry Crasnick reports that the Red Sox are seeking relief options, but not just any old arm: “They’re not just looking to get an eighth-inning reliever” an evaluator for a competing club said. “They’re looking to get a guy. A real guy.” Wade Davis, Kyle Barraclough, Brad Hand, Kirby Yates, and Craig Stammen are all listed, but I very much extremely definitely don’t see Davis’ availability (or, frankly, attractiveness right now). Not only is he in year one of a three-year, $52M deal, he’s got a 4.04 ERA and the Rockies are just 4.5 games out of first. But that’s sorta irrelevant. The more salient point here is that the Cubs, who are also likely looking for relief help, have one more serious buyer out there – at least – in the Red Sox. I could argue that the Cubs don’t need to add a closer type as much as they could benefit from another quality 7th or 8th inning arm, but I suppose we’ll see.
- Bruce Levine answers rumor-related questions at 670 The Score, and there’s a number of interesting takeaways. For one, he believes the Dodgers will be the ones to land Machado, with the Mariners as a dark horse candidate. For another, he believes that a trade of Addison Russell is more likely after the season than during (agreed), but admits that both he and Ian Happ would be in play for someone like Jacob deGrom, as Brett discussed earlier. He also said that the Cubs may value Happ long term over Kyle Schwarber, because of his speed, versatility, and power from both sides of the plate, but I’m not sure that’s true. At best, it’s really too early to tell. Happ obviously has Schwarber on most parts of the game, but Schwarber has a *chance* to be one of the game’s most special hitters. I still really believe that.
- Levine also warns us to keep an eye on Orioles reliever Zach Britton, as the Cubs did last year and over the offseason. It’s unclear how much Britton, a free agent at the end of the season making big money this year, coming off multiple injuries, will cost, but I bet the Cubs have asked.
- If the Cubs don’t go big with a starting pitcher trade this July (which is likely), they could turn to a rental starter, instead. To that end, one of the names that’s popped up is J.A. Happ. And according to Jon Heyman, the Yankees have him near the top of their “realistic rotation trade options,” because they don’t see DeGrom or Noah Syndergaard as realistic (to be fair, the Mets might have an *especially* high price on either starter for the cross-town Yankees (although, as we witnesses last season with Jose Quintana and the White Sox, that doesn’t mean it can’t happen)). But even still, the Yankees have found the asking price on Happ too high at the moment.
- Note: Happ hasn’t gotten great results this season thanks to a couple blowouts in his last two starts, but he’s made 18 healthy starts and has an FIP under 4.00.
- Another such rental name that’s popped up recently for the Cubs is Nathan Eovaldi. And according to Mike Petriello, he may be the best available starting pitcher. But because of that (and several other convincing reasons), Petriello makes the case that the Mets would be silly not to trade deGrom right now, while his value his highest and the market is empty. We discussed the Cubs potential interest in deGrom earlier today and it remains a tricky exercise, but one that probably has many Cubs fans drooling, even despite the price.
- You’re reminded that Brett is offering up insane, no-sleep, 40-straight-hour coverage at the Trade Deadline this year if we raise enough money for Make-A-Wish. Please go here and check out the details.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.