MLB Rumour Roundup: D-backs ‘most persistent’ suitor of Machado

MLB insider Jon Paul Morosi says if the Blue Jays are serious about playoffs, trading Bo Bichette for Christian Yelich is a no-brainer, Bo was a minor league batting champ, but many feel Yelich will be a major league one.

Any time Manny Machado’s name has surfaced in trade rumours this winter, the Yankees, Cardinals and Red Sox have been heavily mentioned. However, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Arizona Diamondbacks are the “most persistent” suitor of the Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman.

Rosenthal notes that a trade is not close and most rival executives expect the 25-year-old Machado, who will become a free agent following this season, to begin the campaign in Baltimore.

However, the team faces a dilemma if it decides to keep him: Machado would like to move from third base to shortstop, likely to increase his value as a free agent. However, the best scenario for the team would be to keep the multiple Gold Glove winner Machado at third base, while Tim Beckham mans short.

The Diamondbacks secured a wild-card spot and advanced to the National League Division Series last year, but could lose slugger J.D. Martinez to free agency. Acquiring Machado could help offset that loss of power.

Castro wants out of Miami

Newly acquired infielder Starlin Castro wants out of Miami, according to Rosenthal.

The second baseman was acquired by the Marlins in the December trade that sent Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. Castro spent the first six seasons of his career with the Cubs, a span that included five last-place finishes. He was traded to the Yankees in 2015 and hit .300/.338/.454 with 16 homers last season, producing 1.9 wins above replacement while helping New York reach the American League Championship Series.

Castro, 27, is owed $21 million over the next two seasons combined and his contract includes a team option in 2020.

What will Price do?

Red Sox lefty David Price has an opt-out clause in his contract that would allow him to be a free agent at the end of this season.

His two campaigns in Boston have been rife with controversy, whether it has been injuries, underperformance or his much-publicized issues with team broadcaster Dennis Eckersley.

Because of those reasons, it’s not a stretch to imagine a scenario where the 32-year-old decides to leave Boston, says former MLB player Lou Merloni, who’s now a radio personality in the city.

“If he has another year, like he did last year off the field, barring Tommy John surgery, I don’t know how he stays,” Merloni said during The Starting Lineup on Sportsnet 590 The FAN Wednesday morning. “Last year was rough for him.”

It’s worth noting that Price is entering the third season of a seven-year, $217-million contract. It’s unlikely he would be able to fetch that type of money in next year’s market, especially considering fellow free agent lefties Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel could also become free agents.

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