To this point, the offseason has featured constant debate and discussion about what the Orioles will do to rebuild their starting rotation. That topic drifted to the backburner at the Winter Meetings. All it took were rumors and speculation about trade possibilities for Manny Machado. We later found out some of the rumors are indeed based in fact.
The prediction here is that the Orioles trade Machado. The reports that indicated the Chicaco White Sox would part with either Lucas Giolito or Michael Kopech might be inaccurate. This is what happens when you put hundreds of reporters under one roof and they try to scoop each other. But I digress.
The Orioles’ inaction toward getting Machado signed to a new contract either means they deem him too rich for their comfort or Machado has little interest in such talks now that he is a year away from being a free agent.
Some reporters are indicating the Orioles won’t allow teams trying to acquire Machado a 72-hour window to try to get him signed long term. Well, there is no reason for Machado to do agree to a new contract with a new team right now. But any team that does trade for Machado will be the only one that can sign him before he hits the open market next fall. They will have a chance to impress the All-Star and try to get his name on a contract. It is just very, very unlikely to happen, in my opinion.
Teams are trading to get Manny only for the 2018 season. That could still bring the Orioles a solid price in return. Again, just my take here, but the Orioles should not limit which teams Machado can go to or worry that he could go to New York. A year from now, they can’t stop that from happening. Their chance to do that was by signing him past 2018, which they have been unable to do. So the trade talk has heated up and we await the next moves.
They get a pick too: While it is true that a club that would trade for Machado would have him for just one year before his pending free agency, we should not forget that the acquiring team will also get a draft pick if Machado signs elsewhere after this coming season. So in dealing for Machado now, a club gets him for just one year but there is more value in the acquistion than just adding the star player.
Here is how the compensation would work for a team losing Machado via free agency after the 2018 season: If that team received revenue sharing the preceeding year and the departing player signs a contract worth more than $50 million guaranteed, the former team will receive a compensatory draft pick from the sandwich round between the first and second rounds. In the 2017 draft, those were picks 31 through 36. If the player signs a deal for less than $50 million, however, that pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B, which comes after the second round.
If the former team was over the luxury tax last year, it will receive a compensatory draft pick after the fourth round. If the team was neither a luxury-tax payee nor a revenue sharing recipient, then it will receive a pick after Competitive Balance Round B.
O’s add catcher: In the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft yesterday, the Orioles added a catcher who could play in the Eastern League next year. They selected 25-year-old Martin Cervenka from the San Francisco organization.
Last season at Single-A Lynchburg of the Carolina League, he hit .278/.343/.418 with 24 doubles, four triples, eight homers, 57 RBIs and a .760 OPS.
The Orioles’ director of minor league operations, Kent Qualls, provided some background on Cervenka.
“We had some good information on him from the Carolina League last year,” Qualls said. “(Manager) Keith Bodie and our (Single-A) Frederick club played against him and saw him a lot. He’s a defensive-first catcher and is a kid out of the Czech Republic that was an international signing by Cleveland orginally.
“He’s got a good arm and threw out 40 percent of base-stealers last season. He’s got a good bat with some power. Very projectable kid that has developed and really came on and took a big step forward last year. He projects to play with our (Double-A) Bowie club for next season.”