While Manny Machado gets closer to free agency with each passing day, the Orioles reportedly aren't backing off from their lofty asking price for the shortstop.Baltimore is believed to be requesting two young, controllable starters in exchange for Machado, who turned 26 years old on Friday.However, current offers for Machado
While Manny Machado gets closer to free agency with each passing day, the Orioles reportedly aren't backing off from their lofty asking price for the shortstop.
Baltimore is believed to be requesting two young, controllable starters in exchange for Machado, who turned 26 years old on Friday.
However, current offers for Machado "aren't close" to what the Orioles want, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Per Crasnick, the O's expectations don't align with how the market currently values rental players.
Baltimore's expectations for what they should get in a package might be pushing away one of the teams that had been considered a top potential landing spot for Machado -- the Phillies. A source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand on Friday that the Phillies "have moved on from Machado for now" because the O's asking price is too high. MLB.com's Todd Zolecki had also previously reported Thursday that the Phillies were "considered longshots" to get Machado.
A deal could always still happen, of course. Per Feinsand's report, Philadelphia might re-open discussions with the Orioles if Baltimore lowers its trade demands closer to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. On MLB Network Radio on Friday, former general managers Jim Bowden and Jim Duquette -- the cousin of current Orioles GM Dan Duquette -- discussed what type of package might be able to get Machado to the Phillies.
The suggested trade: Machado for Phillies shortstop J.P. Crawford and pitching prospects Adonis Mejia and JoJo Romero. That would give the Orioles a big league shortstop to replace Machado in Crawford, a top prospect in the 21-year-old right-hander Mejia (the Phillies' No. 2 prospect and the No. 74 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline) and another solid prospect in the 21-year-old left-hander Romero (the Phillies' No. 6 prospect).
The Tigers' return from the D-backs for J.D. Martinez last season might be a solid indicator of the type of package the O's can expect to receive in a Machado trade, though Machado is much younger and plays a premium position.
Arizona sent middle-infield prospects Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King to Detroit last July for Martinez, who was set to become a free agent at the end of the 2017 season. All three players have struggled in the Minors this year, and none currently ranks among Detroit's top 10 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, though Lugo was selected Friday to be one of the Tigers' Futures Game representatives.
The D-backs might even be a favorite to make the same type of trade for Machado this season. Former MLB general manager Dan O'Dowd and MLB Network insider Joel Sherman both said Friday on MLB Tonight that they think Arizona will be the team that ends up getting Machado, with Sherman citing the team's willingness to deal for Martinez as a contributing factor.
"They recognize the value of getting the best position player on the market," Sherman said. "They did it with J.D. Martinez in his walk year last year. I think even though there's gonna be some interesting bidding, I don't think the bidding will get up to Manny Machado's true value. And Arizona, understanding what its window is -- [A.J.] Pollock and [Patrick] Corbin are free agents after this year, [Paul] Goldschmidt after next year … This is the moment to try to go for it and win the division."
The problem with Machado certainly isn't a lack of suitors. In addition to the D-backs and Phillies, the Dodgers and Braves are also among the teams reportedly discussing a Machado deal with the O's. MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman also reported Thursday in an article for Fancred Sports that the Brewers have "checked in" on Machado, and the Indians have been linked to the shortstop as well.
As Feinsand noted Thursday, Machado's trade value theoretically drops as each day passes and the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline draws closer. But the Orioles evidently don't hold that belief.
If Baltimore doesn't receive an offer it likes, it may be content to keep Machado and make him a qualifying offer -- which he will surely reject -- at the end of this season.
If Machado then signs elsewhere, the O's would receive a compensation pick following the first round in the 2019 Draft.
Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com