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Machado, Phillies could be tough match

Orioles' star infielder on track for free agency next year
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Phillies would love Manny Machado in red pinstripes in 2018, but Philadelphia fans should not hold their breath.

Sources on Monday at the Winter Meetings quickly dismissed the idea that the Orioles could trade Machado to Philadelphia this offseason.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Phillies would love Manny Machado in red pinstripes in 2018, but Philadelphia fans should not hold their breath.

Sources on Monday at the Winter Meetings quickly dismissed the idea that the Orioles could trade Machado to Philadelphia this offseason.

There are multiple reasons. First, Machado can become a free agent after next season, and it makes sense for him to enter the market to maximize his earning potential. Second, a source indicated that Orioles ownership is not interested in dealing their star third baseman. Third, the Phillies would not trade for Machado unless they could sign him to a multiyear extension. And that brings everybody back to the first reason a trade will not happen this winter: Machado wants to test free agency.

It is much more likely the Phillies simply wait until next offseason and take a run at Machado as a free agent.

But the Phillies have been talking to teams about trading infielders Freddy Galvis and Cesar Hernandez. The Angels are interested in Hernandez. The Padres are interested in Galvis. Certainly others are interested in them, too. But Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said Monday that nothing is cooking on the trade front.

"No heat," he said. "There's definitely interest. I'll repeat it: For us, if there's a trade that will make sense for both the short and the long term, we'll absolutely explore it. On the flip side, we're excited about the idea of bringing back the group we have and creating depth and putting players in situations to be the best versions of themselves and trying to gain advantages that way. If all of our infielders are back next year on Opening Day, that is not a bad thing at all for us. We're happy, and we can operate from a position of strength and let the market adjust."

The Phillies' infield also includes Maikel Franco, J.P. Crawford and possibly No. 3 prospect Scott Kingery at second base, third base or shortstop. The Phillies maintain they can keep everybody happy and make it work, but it could be ideal to make a trade and upgrade the roster elsewhere.

"At this point we have a pretty good feel for who the interested clubs would be for our players, and I'm certain that those teams are also exploring their free-agent options and other trade options -- as they should be doing," Klentak said. "That's what we'd be doing if we were on the other end of it. It's just a matter of whether we find common ground on a trade that we feel makes sense for us."

Rule 5 Draft

The Mariners claimed outfielder Cameron Perkins and the Pirates claimed infielder Engelb Vielma off waivers, leaving the Phillies with 38 players on the 40-man roster. Pat Neshek -- who is close to rejoining the Phillies -- would take one of those spots, but the other one allows the Phillies to select a player in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. The Phillies have the No. 3 pick.

"I would expect that we would take advantage of the third pick in some form or fashion," Klentak said. "Whether we draft a player and retain that player or draft a player and make a trade, I'll think we'll look to do something with it."

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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