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Inbox: D-backs in running for Machado?

Beat reporter Steve Gilbert answers questions from fans
MLB.com @SteveGilbertMLB

What are the chances of us getting Manny Machado?
-- Karl, Phoenix

It's really hard this time of year to separate facts from fiction, but here's what it's safe to say about the D-backs/Machado rumors. First, Arizona is interested. The club has been interested in Machado since the Orioles let it be known in the offseason that they might be open to moving him. Since then, the D-backs have never stopped being interested in Machado.

What are the chances of us getting Manny Machado?
-- Karl, Phoenix

It's really hard this time of year to separate facts from fiction, but here's what it's safe to say about the D-backs/Machado rumors. First, Arizona is interested. The club has been interested in Machado since the Orioles let it be known in the offseason that they might be open to moving him. Since then, the D-backs have never stopped being interested in Machado.

As far as Arizona's chances of landing Machado, it's a little less clear. I don't get the sense that the organization feels overly confident about its chances -- I say sense because team officials have been mum about all trade discussions, both on and off the record. Most of the reports out there have reinforced that. The O's asking price for Machado appears to be very high right now, so if it comes down a bit, maybe that would give the D-backs a better chance.

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Which, if any, of the prospects are untouchable?
-- Alex, Tempe, Ariz.

The D-backs' farm system is still pretty thin after a few years of promotions and trades to help the big league team. I think it's less about which prospects are "untouchable" and more about what kind of return they would get for them. General manager Mike Hazen would probably be more hesitant to trade top prospects for a three-month rental unless he was all but convinced that he was getting a player back that was going to be the difference maker in the postseason chase.

However, if Arizona was getting a controllable asset, it would likely be willing to part with some of its top-end guys. If you look at Hazen's short history with the D-backs, you can see this. He didn't give up a ton for J.D. Martinez (a rental), but he was willing to part with significant assets to acquire right-hander Taijuan Walker and outfielder Steven Souza Jr., because both had several years of club control remaining.

Should we be getting a hitter or a pitcher -- or both -- before the Deadline?
-- Nancy H., Chicago

With Souza and A.J. Pollock back and healthy, I still think the biggest need is pitching. Yes, Arizona's staff has done a very nice job this year, but you can never have enough pitching. I don't think it's fair to put a ton of pressure on Shelby Miller right now given that he's coming off Tommy John surgery, and as we've seen with pitchers in the past, it takes time for them to get back to where they were pre-surgery. Even when it comes to the D-backs' bullpen -- which has been outstanding -- I think it could use another arm because, again, over the course of a long season, depth in both the rotation and bullpen pays off.

When will we see Jake Lamb of 2017?
-- Joel, Burnaby, British Columbia

Lamb had a tough final two games against the Padres, going 0-for-11, but even including those two games, he's been swinging the bat better of late. He's hit .281/.354/.386 over his past 14 games.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Arizona Diamondbacks