The Baltimore Orioles appear to be moving closer to a Manny Machado deal.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Orioles are narrowing down their potential Machado trade partners to move closer to a final deal. Among the finalists are the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, who have frequently been named as leading candidates.
Sources: Orioles making progress and narrowing their focus in the Machado trade talks. Phillies and Brewers appear to be among the finalists.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 14, 2018
The Los Angeles Dodgers have also been frequently named as a serious suitor for Machado, though Olney doesn’t name them here. The New York Yankees have been linked, but reports vary as to just how driven they are to acquire the Baltimore shortstop.
It looks almost certain that Machado will be moved before the July 31 deadline. One finalist may be more motivated to land him than the others, but it sounds like something could happen fairly soon.
Two teams reportedly have more interest than any others about acquiring Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers are the most aggressive suitors for the star shortstop. A third team, the Cleveland Indians, are also in the mix, but financial restrictions may hinder their ability to make a deal.
#Dodgers, #Brewers most serious for #Orioles’ Machado, sources tell The Athletic. #Indians also in mix, though taking on rest of Machado’s $16M might be obstacle. Question remains: Will O’s ownership view offers practically or slow down process by asking for other players?
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 8, 2018
It’s about time that the Orioles have to decide how serious they are about dealing Machado, and rival teams have to figure out how serious they are about acquiring him. The asking price is reportedly very high, and that has already scared off one team. With the widespread interest in his services, though, the ball appears to be in Baltimore’s court.
The Milwaukee Brewers are in the market for starting pitching, and they could be looking north of the border for their solution.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Toronto Blue Jays have been extensively scouting the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league system, which could indicate Milwaukee’s interest in left-handed starter J.A. Happ.
According to a source, the Blue Jays have been extensively scouting the Brewers' system. J.A. Happ could be on Milwaukee's radar, as the Brewers need a starter and the lefty is one of the top arms expected to be traded this month.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 2, 2018
It’s a logical assumption to make. Happ looks set to be an in-demand pitcher on the trade market, and it’s easy to see why. His 4.03 ERA is up a little bit after a bad start against the Detroit Tigers, but he’s still striking out over a batter an inning.
At the end of July, Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline will be upon us, and contenders will be making aggressive moves to improve their chances of making a deep postseason run. You’d be hard-pressed to name a contender that can’t use an upgrade somewhere, even if it’s a small one. A few teams really need to go for it and address some very obvious needs before the deadline passes.
Here are ten teams who could really stand to make a deal before July 31 — some even more than others.
10) Atlanta Braves
The Braves are still early enough in a rebuild cycle that is already bearing fruit, so making a deal isn’t a total necessity. But if the right fit comes along that doesn’t involve them compromising their future too much, they should do it. While the top of the Atlanta rotation has been good, they lack that veteran ace they can rely on in a pennant race; it should be Julio Teheran, but his numbers this year aren’t quite up to his standards. Another arm there would really fortify the Braves to make a real run at the postseason.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers were involved in a bench-clearing incident during Friday’s game.
During the eighth inning, Brewers shortstop Hernan Perez bunted a pitch that was fielded by Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks. Hicks threw to second base to record the force out of runner Eric Sogard, who collided with shortstop Yairo Munoz. Sogard seemed unhappy with the contact and the two appeared to exchange words. The dugouts and bullpens of both teams emptied in response.
The Brewers' broadcast was predictably terrible. pic.twitter.com/wb42QIgu19
— VHS (@VanHicklestein) June 23, 2018
Order was restored in short order. There were no punches thrown and no one was ejected. Among those trying to break things up was Hicks, whose throw appeared to lead Munoz into Sogard.
It's also worth noting that one of the players that got between Sogard and Munoz and helped separate them was … Jordan Hicks, the pitcher in the game at the time. #stlcards #Cardinals #MLB https://t.co/d7YBJdZety
— Derrick Goold (@dgoold) June 23, 2018
Bob Uecker is one of baseball’s most iconic figures, and the Milwaukee Brewers never fail to recognize that.
We got another example of it Sunday night, when the Brewers decided to give their road trip a dress code — a Uecker-themed one. Players and coaches were encouraged to wear rather gaudy sport coats as a nod to some of their longtime broadcaster’s more curious fashion choices.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) June 17, 2018
Manager Craig Counsell and coach Ed Sedar even had custom t-shirts for the occasion.
As a couple of you noticed, good work by Counsell and Sedar on their t-shirts for the Bob Uecker dress-up flight.
Brewers photo on left, and Al Tielemans’ absolute classic from the May 19, 2008 issue of Sports Illustrated on right. Ueck refers to it as “my swimsuit issue.” pic.twitter.com/eh86MlNdbz
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) June 18, 2018
Themed road trips have been a thing for a while, with Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays really kickstarting them back in the day. They’ve since spread to other teams and taken on a life of their own, and this is one of the better ones.
In the midst of a heated battle for the NL Central lead, the Milwaukee Brewers may be looking to address arguably their biggest weakness.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported on Saturday that rival executives expect the Brewers to “aggressively” pursue starting pitching at the trade deadline.
At 42-28, Milwaukee is currently just half a game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the lead in their division. Their rotation, meanwhile, is mostly a collection of journeyman arms whose depth has suffered with Zach Davies, Jimmy Nelson, and Wade Miley all on the disabled list at the moment.
The Brewers were recently linked to one big-name starter who could be on the trading block, and it seems like a safe bet that they will continue to explore all available options for fortifying their pitching ranks.