Winter Meetings Tuesday Afternoon: Orioles *Shopping* Machado, Fulmer, Gonzalez, Reed, More

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Winter Meetings Tuesday Afternoon: Orioles *Shopping* Machado, Fulmer, Gonzalez, Reed, More

Chicago Cubs

It’s been a busy day already, hasn’t it?

Already, we’ve learned that Jake Arrieta could be looking for $200 million, the Cubs are interested in Royals starter Danny Duffy, and the Padres may be interested in a young Cubs shortstop. And that’s on top of the first Winter Meetings update, Yu Darvish pitch-tipping, Alex Cobb pursuits, and issues with Tyler Chatwood’s contract with the team.

It’s not stopping there, either.

  • According to Ken Rosenthal at the Athletic, the Baltimore Orioles are actively shopping third baseman Manny Machado, and it comes with two really important twists. First, Machado reportedly wants to move back to shortstop before he becomes a free agent next winter (makes sense, I guess), and second, the Orioles are looking for not one, but two cost-controlled starting pitchers in return. Now, don’t get me wrong. Manny Machado is easily one of the best young players in the game, even after a somewhat down season in 2017. But he’s got just one year of team control left. How many teams looking to trade for one year of Machado can afford to give up multiple big-league starting pitchers (maybe the Orioles will consider prospects?)?
  • To be sure, Rosenthal notes how unlikely such a return is but does list the Cardinals and Phillies as potential suitors. And I don’t want to reveal too much of Rosenthal’s article – it’s premium content – but there’s reason to believe the Orioles are VERY serious about moving Machado and soon, at that.

  • And on that Phillies connection, Jon Heyman writes that while they love Machado, there’d be a ton of hurdles to overcome. First of all, they’d almost certainly want to ink him to an extension, which wouldn’t be easy to iron out (though, not impossible as Rosenthal points out). And second, the Phillies might not be willing to move the prospects necessary to get him in Philadelphia. Moving Machado (in general) is an exciting rumor – especially because of how likely it now seems to be – but it’ll be very hard to figure out.
  • Meanwhile, the Marlins keep on moving:

  • I think, at this point, it makes sense to trade both Ozuna and Yelich, but I can see the tricky position the Marlins are in, as laid out by Sherman above. If they get the Yelich trade just right, that could go a long way towards their rebuild. At the same time … there’s no rush. Yelich is under control for five more years on a team-friendly deal and is only 26. Make it CLEAR you’re not trading Yelich right now (absent something overwhelming) and then, you know, stick to your guns. Of course, if Joe Frisaro’s report is correct, 10(!) different teams have inquired about Yelich’s availability and that includes the Braves, Diamondbacks, and Cardinals. Maybe the Marlins can get as much value as they need after all?
  • And because this all just moves so fast, there’s also this wrinkle to those last two paragraphs:

  • The Cardinals have always made sense after missing out on Stanton, but we’ll just have to see where this goes for now.
  • Speaking of rebuilding teams trading young stars, Joel Sherman also kickstarts the Tigers/Michael Fulmer trade speculation, but in a purely hypothetical sense (for now). Basically, Sherman says that the Tigers shouldn’t risk a Fulmer injury between now and the time their back in contention (he guesses three years), so they should cash him in while they have the opportunity. Which, I don’t know. Wouldn’t that be an argument for every good player on every team? Yes, Fulmer recently had surgery in September, but he’s under control for another five(!) seasons and isn’t even arbitration eligible until 2019. Injury risks are present all the time.
  • But if he is made available, Sherman guesses that the Cubs would be involved …

  • Jerry Crasnick writes that Carlos Gonzalez is currently “flying under the radar,” but hears that a lot of non-competitive teams (Giants, Royals, A’s, Rays, and Blue Jays) are interested because he’s likely to sign a short-term deal to re-establish some value. Crasnick has also heard that there could be a “rush” (that’s the word of the meetings this year, eh?) on him soon enough.
  • Meanwhile, more confirmation that the Nationals have heard from Jake Arrieta/Scott Boras:

  • Note, that’s Boras reaching out to the Nationals, not the other way around.
  • Despite already adding Brandon Morrow to the bullpen, the Cubs are not likely done on that front this winter. Among my favorite realistic options so far is Addison Reed. Unfortunately, given that he’s one of the youngest (better) relievers available, many teams (i.e. not just contenders) will be in on the hunt:

  • To me, adding Reed doesn’t make as much sense for the Phillies as adding Neshek (who could more plausibly be flipped at the deadline for prospects), but we know the Phillies are right on the cusp of competing anyway, so maybe a coordinated push with a few additions in mind could really push them over the edge in 2018. And then, of course, the NL East feels pretty open in 2019 and beyond when the Nationals presumably lose Bryce Harper (and Gio Gonzalez), and Max Scherzer is 34.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami