Type quietly in the Tap Room today.
Your barkeep has a hangover.
It’s not from partying, though. It’s from spending four days at baseball’s annual winter meetings, where the atmosphere is filled with stale air and staler rumors.
But sometimes those rumors keep rolling until they become something. That’s what happened this week, when the smoke from the Manny Machado speculation grew until there is definitely fire.
I can’t tell you how many people have asked me in the last 72 hours whether I thought Machado will actually be traded. My answer now is yes, I don’t think the Orioles go through all of this prep work and talk without ultimately pulling the trigger.
I couch it, however, by saying there are so many cooks in the Orioles’ kitchen that the meal is often altered by the time it gets to owner Peter Angelos, who, on occasion, will toss in a few ingredients of his own.
He has the reputation of being a meddler, but that’s not really my experience in covering this team since 2001. Angelos is an opinion gatherer – one trait of a successful attorney – and sometimes that results in slow maneuvering and then unexpected changes at the 11th hour. The final decision, ultimately, is his, so he certainly has the prerogative to change his mind.
But it creates a situation that’s almost impossible to predict.
We know that Angelos typically has no interest in making the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox better. But would that change if all of his advisors tell him that the Yankees, for instance, are offering the best package for Machado?
You can’t answer that. But here’s what you can answer:
Would you trade Machado to the division rival Yankees or Red Sox if one of those offered the best package?
I would. Here’s what I wrote about it.
Now it’s your turn. I’ll be in the back icing my forehead.
Tap-In Question: Would you deal Manny Machado within the division if it were for the best package of players?