The slow-moving offseason continues because for the past week or so, teams appear hesitant to make moves until the Manny Machado front offers clarity. Some may get their wish this week if current rumors are true, but it is also important to remember Machado isn't the end-all-be-all of offseason activity.
Let's not forget that Yu Darvish is still without a home for the 2018 season, and a return to the MLB squad that made him a household name could be in the works depending on how one reads the situation. The New York Mets are also showing signs of life, and a former Cy Young Award-winner could make yet another comeback.
Here we go, folks. This is the Rumor Roundup.
Orioles could pull Machado
Just when we thought Manny Machado was on the verge of being traded, he could wind up staying right where he is. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Orioles have not received what they consider satisfactory offers for the star infielder and may keep him for the 2018 season. Heyman mentions seven teams including the New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago White Sox, and Chicago Cubs as ones that have made offers for Machado.
There's no way to sugarcoat this. The Orioles are playing with the worst kind of fire if this rumor is true. Baltimore's pitching staff is such that trading Machado is really the only way to acquire a serviceable arm for next year, and it's near certain that owner Peter Angelos won't pay the $300m or more Machado is expected to earn as a free agent this time next year.
And if the Orioles stand pat and keep Machado for all of 2018, only for him to sign with another team next offseason, the only compensation received will be a draft pick. What is best for the team is to trade Machado now and hope the top prospects received in return will pan out.
Otherwise, it will be a long and lengthy rebuild in the Charm City.
Yu Darvish goes home?
No, not Japan, but Darvish still has his home in Dallas and, based on recent rumors, may consider that as he searches for his next team. Heyman reported yesterday afternoon that Darvish was set to meet with the World Series champion Houston Astros, which would make a pitching staff that features Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander all the more dominant.
However, Darvish's story took a twist when Jim Bowden of The Athletic tweeted the right-hander's next meeting was with the Texas Rangers, the team with which he spent his entire career before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last summer. Jeff Wilson of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Darvish and Rangers GM Jon Daniels were just having dinner socially with no plans to talk business but as was mentioned before, Darvish still owns a home in Dallas. Perhaps a homecoming was his plan all along.
We reported yesterday the Chicago Cubs also had a meeting with Darvish this week, so his name is one to keep an eye on for the foreseeable future.
Mets contact Adrian Gonzalez
The New York Mets have a bright first base prospect in Dominic Smith, but it appears GM Sandy Alderson would like a year of insurance after Smith hit .198 in 183 plate appearances in 2017. ESPN's Buster Olney reported last night that the Mets reached out to veteran Adrian Gonzalez, who was just released by the Atlanta Braves after being traded there from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the deal that brought Matt Kemp back to LA.
Gonzalez played in just 71 games last year and hit just .242 with only three home runs and 30 RBI. He was hampered by a herniated disc in his back and surgery would almost definitely end his career. Given his greatest strength is his home run power, just why the Mets would even take a one-year flier on him in cavernous Citifield makes little sense.
The long and short of it is Dominic Smith is the future and if he struggles, the Mets should have a stronger fallback option than a player with questionable health.
The Freak comes back?
There was a time when Tim Lincecum was the hottest young pitcher in baseball, so hot that he took home two NL Cy Young Awards and even threw two no-hitters. Unfortunately, between a small frame and a wacky pitching windup, his velocity dipped and so did his numbers. He last pitched with the Los Angeles Angels in 2016 and went 2-6 with an abominable 9.16 ERA and 2.37 WHIP across nine starts.
And despite that, Lincecum is determined to end his career on his terms. Per training facility Driveline, Lincecum is planning to throw for teams "in the near future" and in the tweet's picture, the 33-year-old righty looks noticeably more muscular.
Not much else is known on this front, but Lincecum was a huge draw in his prime and should at least get a Spring Training invitation if his showcase goes well.