Manny Machado is about to break the bank in free agency, but he knows teams will have questions that must be answered first. One of those questions he’s looking to address right away is criticism over comments he made during the National League Championship Series, when the then-Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop told The Athletic that being “Johnny Hustle” is not his “cup of tea.”
“When I was asked that question, I was definitely on the defensive, and I was wrong to answer it the way that I did, because looking back, it doesn’t come across how I meant it,” Machado told MLB.com. “For me, I was trying to talk about how I’m not the guy who is eye wash. There’s a difference between fake hustle for show and being someone who tries hard to win. I’ve always been the guy who does whatever he can to win for his team.”
During the NLCS, Machado was criticized or failing to run out a grounder in one game and making two questionable slides in another. “Obviously I’m not going to change,” he told Ken Rosenthal at the time. “I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and ... you know, whatever can happen. That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”
Machado, 26, just completed his seventh season. The four-time All-Star came up with Baltimore in 2012 and was acquired by the Dodgers in July for five prospects.
—Cincinnati Reds reliever Raisel Iglesias signed a three-year contract worth just over $24 million to avoid salary arbitration.
The 28-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 30 saves in 34 chances and posted a 2.38 ERA in 2018, and he is a candidate to join the rotation in 2019. This deal keeps him in Cincinnati until 2021.
“Raisel has been extremely reliable in our bullpen,” Reds president of baseball operations Dick Williams said. “He has also proved to be a very versatile pitcher, which we value highly.”
—The Los Angeles Angels acquired left-hander Dillon Peters from the Miami Marlins for minor league right-hander Tyler Stevens.
Peters, 26, went 3-4 with a 6.10 ERA in 13 big league games (11 starts) over the past two seasons. He spent most of the 2018 season at Triple-A New Orleans and had a 6-7 record with a 5.61 ERA in 19 starts.
Stevens, 22, went 7-6 with a 5.43 ERA in 49 relief appearances among three levels last season, including 20 games at Triple-A Salt Lake.
—New Baltimore Orioles general manager Mike Elias has hired Sig Mejdal as assistant general manager for analytics, the club announced.
Mejdal, a former NASA engineer, had worked with Elias with the Houston Astros since 2012 and with the St. Louis Cardinals before that. Mejdal was the architect of the Astros’ analytics department.
Mejdal will be tasked with helping Elias rebuild the Orioles, who finished last season with their worst mark (47-115) since moving to Baltimore following the 1953 season.
—Field Level Media