After months of rumors, the Manny Machado sweepstakes may finally be in the home stretch. Contenders are lining up for the opportunity to add Machado, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports in an article for Fancred Sports that the Orioles have at least seven -- and possibly as many
After months of rumors, the Manny Machado sweepstakes may finally be in the home stretch. Contenders are lining up for the opportunity to add Machado, as MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports in an article for Fancred Sports that the Orioles have at least seven -- and possibly as many as nine -- offers for the All-Star shortstop.
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Here's a rough breakdown of how Heyman gauges the top competitors with just a few weeks to go before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Chris Taylor has capably handled the shortstop position since Corey Seager underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery earlier this season, but he can move elsewhere to accommodate Machado. In addition to upgrading the Dodgers' roster, a trade for Machado would ensure he doesn't end up with the D-backs, Los Angeles' top competition in the National League West and another reported Machado suitor. While their farm system may not be as strong as the Yankees', the Dodgers still have some intriguing names to offer, including outfielder Alex Verdugo (the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect, No. 27 overall, per MLB Pipeline), middle infielder Gavin Lux (the Dodgers' No. 12 prospect) and pitcher Dustin May (the Dodgers' No. 10 prospect).
Although the rotation remains the Yankees' biggest area of need, a trade for Machado may be the best way for New York to keep pace with the AL East-leading Red Sox, given the lackluster market for starting pitchers. Machado's preference to remain at shortstop could be a potential complication, as the Yankees are interested in acquiring Machado to play third base. Still, the club is a realistic player after making a "strong offer" for Machado, one that doesn't include Clint Frazier or Justus Sheffield (the Yankees' No. 2 prospect, No. 39 overall), according to Heyman. New York's interest may only grow if Boston ramps up its pursuit -- which has reportedly been tepid to this point -- now that third baseman Rafael Devers is on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation.
The Brewers have had major issues up the middle this season, sending shortstop Orlando Arcia to the Minors twice and struggling to find a permanent second baseman. Machado would solve one of those problems, and the Brewers may have the young talent to get a deal done even if they don't include second baseman Keston Hiura (the Brewers' No. 1 prospect, No. 30 overall).
The connection between Machado and several members of the Phillies' front office -- including general manager Matt Klentak -- from their days in the Orioles organization is well documented, as is Philadelphia's need for an upgrade on the left side of the infield. But it remains to be seen if the club is willing to accelerate its rebuild by trading multiple prospects for a player who can become a free agent after this season.
With Patrick Corbin and A.J. Pollock due to hit free agency after this season and Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke both in their 30s, the D-backs may look to make a win-now move by dealing for Machado. Adding a "rental" player certainly worked out well for Arizona last year, as J.D. Martinez helped the club make the postseason for the first time since 2011 before signing with the Red Sox in the offseason. However, the club's prospect group isn't as strong as some of the other teams on this list.
The Indians remain in the mix, but the combination of a middling farm system, monetary restrictions and Francisco Lindor's presence at shortstop make Cleveland an unlikely destination for Machado, especially given the club's major need for relief pitching.
The rotation and bullpen are arguably bigger needs, and it's assumed the Cubs want to stay under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold, making Chicago another unlikely landing spot for Machado. Deals for Albertin Chapman in 2016 and Jose Quintana in 2017 have greatly weakened the Cubs' farm system, which likely means Chicago would have to include Addison Russell in any trade for the Orioles shortstop, as Heyman notes.
Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.