Good morning, Camden Chatters.
Is anyone else as surprised as I am at how Manny Machado’s first foray into free agency has turned out?
It’s not that I’m surprised he hasn’t signed anywhere yet. It’s not unusual for big-name free agents to take their sweet time deciding on a new team. But what’s really jarring is just how few suitors he seems to have.
I was expecting a feeding frenzy, with 10-15 teams lined up to try to woo him. They’d pull out all the stops. They’d walk him down the red carpet on his ballpark tour, give him a catered feast of all the city’s best cuisine, recruit other star players on the team to whisper sweet nothings into his ear. They’d make breathless promises about how he’d be the face of their team for the next decade and would lead them to championship glory.
Instead of that showstopping bonanza, we’re getting, like, two guys holding up crappy cardboard signs saying, “Manny, pleez sign with us.”
The Yankees are apparently out of the bidding (at least for now) after signing infielder DJ LeMahieu, while the Phillies seem more focused on spending big money on Bryce Harper than on Machado. That leaves the White Sox, who are reportedly offering a seven- or eight-year deal, and...maybe a mystery team? And that’s it?
What gives? I know Manny is looking for a lucrative contract, and he didn’t exactly endear himself to the MLB world with his unprofessional antics in the postseason. But come on, this is a 26-year-old superstar who already has four All-Star appearances, two Gold Glove awards, and 33.8 career WAR under his belt, and he’s not going to be falling off the table anytime soon. Surely a few more teams could find a use for Machado’s services for the next 8-10 years.
Hey, I’m not suggesting the Orioles should jump into the fray. But seriously, some team is shaping up to get a bargain on Machado.
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Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! You have two Orioles birthday buddies, most notably Orioles Hall of Famer (and a guy who was criminally overlooked for the Baseball Hall of Fame) Bobby Grich, who turns 70 today. Grich started his career with the Orioles from 1970-76 and was a three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove second baseman during that span, amassing 36 WAR for the O’s and 71.1 for his career. It’s also the birthday of another former O’s second baseman, Delino DeShields (50), who was...not a Hall of Famer. But he was voted Most Valuable Oriole in 2000, so that’s something.
On this day in 1999, the Orioles signed reliever Heathcliff Slocumb, who registered a 12.46 ERA in 10 games with the Birds before he was mercifully released. That’s all I’ve got for you. It hasn’t been a big day in O’s history.