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Cubs hear the buzz, discuss Machado rumors

Almora goes way back with O's superstar, but players not advocating for any specific moves
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Albert Almora Jr. and Manny Machado used to pretend they were on the same team, playing in the World Series, back when they were growing up in South Florida. On Tuesday, the two were asked about the possibility of one day playing together for real.

Machado, who is in town as the Orioles play the White Sox eight miles away from Wrigley Field, could be a possible fit for the Cubs in a midseason trade or free-agent acquisition this winter. The Orioles' superstar didn't get into too much detail except to call Almora his "cousin." Almora was a bit more forthcoming, while still acknowledging that it's a sensitive subject.

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CHICAGO -- Albert Almora Jr. and Manny Machado used to pretend they were on the same team, playing in the World Series, back when they were growing up in South Florida. On Tuesday, the two were asked about the possibility of one day playing together for real.

Machado, who is in town as the Orioles play the White Sox eight miles away from Wrigley Field, could be a possible fit for the Cubs in a midseason trade or free-agent acquisition this winter. The Orioles' superstar didn't get into too much detail except to call Almora his "cousin." Almora was a bit more forthcoming, while still acknowledging that it's a sensitive subject.

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"What we have here is a special unit, a special team," Almora said. "Like [Machado] said, and like I'm saying right now, that's up to the front office guys to make those kinds of decisions. We have a great team here as we stand, so we'll see what happens."

Video: Must C Catch: Almora admires own work after robbery

Still, the idea of playing with his childhood friend is exciting for Almora, who said the two always dreamed of playing together one day.

"I used to throw a basketball to him, and he used to hit it with a wood bat, and we always would put scenarios on in my backyard -- World Series, and stuff like that," Almora said. "Obviously, we never sat down and talked serious about it as kids, but now that we're adults, that would be special."

A lot can happen between now and the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline that could impact the Orioles' decision whether to deal Machado, who entered Tuesday night hitting .343 with 15 homers and 43 RBIs. However, the rumors about Machado aren't likely to go away any time soon.

Kris Bryant recognizes the impact a midseason trade can have. Look at what Aroldis Chapman did for the Cubs in 2016. But he's not advocating for any moves.

Video: WS2016 Gm5: Chapman fans four in eight-out save

"Our front office is one that's always been willing to make moves and isn't afraid to do things during the season," Bryant said. "We won a World Series because of Chapman and some of the other guys we got. But we don't put one ounce of thought into that, because we're happy with the guys we have here."

Complicating matters even more is the fact that the Cubs already have an All-Star shortstop in Addison Russell, who is someone the club is excited about moving forward.

Video: CHC@CIN: Russell collects 4 singles against the Reds

It's hard for anyone to ignore all the rumors, manager Joe Maddon said, and they tend to be amplified more for the young players involved.

"I'm sure it affects him," Maddon said. "He would be robotic if it did not."

"Until someone's gone or whatever," Bryant said, "we're going to play with what we've got and continue to play the way we have been."

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com.

Chicago Cubs, Albert Almora Jr., Manny Machado