AROUND THE HORN WITH MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

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There seems to be no stopping the rumors linking the New York Yankees to Manny Machado.

The Yanks have made a “strong offer” to the Baltimore Orioles for the star infielder, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, who suggests that while the Bronx Bombers may not be the favorite, they clearly are a player in this sweepstakes. Continue Reading By  MLB.com

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic also hears that the Yankees’ interest in Machado is “serious,” though he describes the interest of both the Dodgers and Brewers the same way (Twitter link). The Diamondbacks and Phillies, he adds, are still “keeping in touch” regarding Machado but don’t appear to be as aggressive as the others.

The Marlins are drawing interest in relievers Kyle BarracloughDrew SteckenriderAdam Conley and Brad Zieglerwrites Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, but president of baseball operations Michael Hill acknowledges that he’s placed a lofty price on the former three, each of whom has at least three years of control beyond 2018. “You’re talking about trading one-pluses and two-pluses [years of service time],” says Hill. “If I call and I’m trying to acquire a one-plus, or two-plus, I know it’s going to be costly. Our game is about maximizing value, and control of players.” Hill adds that despite the Marlins’ rebuild — or “build” as the organization is terming it — his goal is to win as often as possible. The Indians, Astros, Red Sox and Dodgers have all been previously linked to Miami’s bullpen.

Furthermore, Frisaro notes that while teams will inquire about catcher J.T. Realmuto in the coming weeks, the asking price remain extremely high. Realmuto may even be approached about a contract extension this offseason, per Frisaro, though that may be a tough sell after the Fish shipped out the Marlins’ entire core last offseason.

Padres reliever Kirby Yates has emerged as a terrific setup option in San Diego, but ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick spoke to one scout who expressed doubts that the Padres would find someone willing to meet their asking price in a trade (Twitter link). “He’s been really good. But he’s not going to get the return they’re asking for, because he kind of came out of nowhere,” the scout said. “It’s hard to give up a pretty good prospect for a guy who’s had three good months.” Of course, it’s worth noting that Yates performed well for the Friars all through the 2017 season as well. However, he didn’t adopt the splitter that has become a wipeout pitch for him until the current season, which is likely the point to which that unnamed scout was alluding. Yates has a ridiculous 1.51 ERA with 11.4 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.25 HR/9 and a 49.4 percent grounder rate in 35 2/3 innings this season. The 31-year-old can be controlled through 2020.

The Brewers have been in contact with the Twins about infielders Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobartweets Jon Morosi of MLB.com. There’s no indication that talks are serious or have extended beyond preliminary stages, though the Milwaukee middle infield has been a weak point in 2018. Brewers second basemen entered play hitting a combined .248/.299/.376, while their shortstops have batted just .202/.255/.300. Milwaukee has been heavily linked to Manny Machado, of course, but either Minnesota slugger would represent a less expensive option — both in terms of prospect capital and salary. Reports have suggested that the Twins are open to selling off pieces, but the Twins have also won six of their past seven and play in a weak division.

To that end, Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN chatted with Minnesota GM Thad Levine about the team’s deadline strategy (Twitter link, with video). Levine acknowledges that the Twins have received interest on numerous players, which he says is to be expected given the number of expiring contracts on the club. However, he doesn’t definitively state that the Twins will be active sellers on the market. If anything, the Twins may move some short-term pieces while also looking to acquire some big league players controllable beyond the current campaign. Levine concedes that “there’ll be opportunities for [the Twins] to make some deals.” Levine also notes, though, that trading pending free agents only creates new holes to fill. “We have numerous times to try to address some of those holes,” he says. “It’s now at this deadline, and it’s this offseason and it’s next Spring Training. We may try to do some of that across all three platforms so we don’t have to do all of our heavy lifting this offseason.”

Though the Rays have surprised and as of Tuesday sit four games over .500, they’re still buried in the AL East, and Peter Gammons of the Athletic tweets that their goal this month is to extract as much as they can in trades for Wilson RamosNathan Eovaldi and Adeiny Hechavarria. Gammons notes that the Rays have also been getting inquiries on right-hander Matt Andriese, though, as teams scour the market for relief help. Andriese, 28, is controlled through 2021 and has a 3.63 ERA with 8.1 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 0.87 HR/9 and a 51 percent grounder rate. He’s capable of working both in the rotation and ’pen, as well, so teams likely have interest in him in a variety of roles.

The Diamondbacks have released veteran right-hander Fernando Salas, the team announced. The 33-year-old was designated for assignment last week when fellow righty Randall Delgado returned from the disabled list. By Steve Adams MLB Trade Rumors

Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar and Seattle Mariners shortstop Jean Segura have won the final two roster spots for next week’s All-Star Game in Washington.

Major League Baseball released the results of online balloting for the last slot in each league Wednesday night, with Aguilar drawing 20.2 million votes to secure his first All-Star selection. His total was the second-highest in the history of the All-Star Final Vote, trailing only Justin Turner’s 20.8 million votes last year.

The 28-year-old Venezuelan was tied for the National League lead with 23 home runs and becomes the fourth Milwaukee player headed to the game. Brewers outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich had already been chosen, along with reliever Josh Hader.

Segura snagged the last American League spot with 13.6 million votes. He was followed by Boston Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, New York Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Minnesota Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario and Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Continue Reading By Associated Press

(Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Somehow, Tim Tebow keeps finding a way to counter his critics by doing something unexpected.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback was named to the Class AA Eastern League All-Star team despite a rather unremarkable .270 batting average, five home runs and 33 RBI this season for the Binghamton (N.Y.) Rumble Ponies, a New York Mets affiliate.

Tebow, 30, was in the East squad’s starting lineup Wednesday night, batting ninth as the designated hitter. In his first at-bat against West starting pitcher Beau Burrows, Tebow hit an opposite-field double. Continue Reading By , USA TODAY

 

 

 

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