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Inbox: Did Cubs offer 3 players for Machado?

Beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers O's fans' questions
December 22, 2017

BALTIMORE -- Do you know if the Cubs'] offer of [[Addison Russell], [Mike Montgomery] and [Albert Almora Jr.] for [Manny Machado] was actually made to Orioles? If, so how could they turn that down? Three Major League players. -- Kenny L.The offer was not only not made, it wasn't even

BALTIMORE -- Do you know if [the Cubs'] offer of [Addison Russell], [Mike Montgomery] and [Albert Almora Jr.] for [Manny Machado] was actually made to Orioles? If, so how could they turn that down? Three Major League players.
-- Kenny L.

The offer was not only not made, it wasn't even discussed by the clubs. Multiple sources told's Carrie Muskat that there wasn't a shred of truth to those names surfacing in Machado trade talks, though if it were true, it would have been a deal worth considering for Baltimore.
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What's the latest on Machado? Are we trading him or not?
-- Tom K., Washington, D.C.

Probably not. The O's haven't been close on any trade talks. and as I've said before, they can't go into the latter part of the offseason still unsure. Would it be a real opportunity lost if they didn't deal him? Yes, I think so. Given that he's one year from walking as a free agent and the O's would receive nothing but a compensation Draft pick.
Teams are hesitant to part with top prospects and/or young players for a year of Machado. And Baltimore isn't going to just give him away. There's always a chance a team gets desperate and blows the O's away with an offer. But they are preparing like Machado is on their team, and so is he.
How about trading [Mark Trumbo] and [Chris Davis] for pitchers? We have replacements for them and could save money for re-signing Machado and [Jonathan Schoop]?
-- Dan B., Ottoville, Ohio

It's a great idea in theory. But the Orioles can't just dump big contracts onto other teams.They'd have to find a willing and able trade partner. And keep in mind, both players are coming off of subpar years, which means their trade value is low. Davis has a no-trade clause and a $161 million deal that would make it difficult for the O's to get another team to pick up. They'd have to eat some if not all of that contract just to move him, which doesn't really solve anything at all.

Trumbo is the easier piece to move, though, as his deal is shorter and cheaper. Again, though, they would be selling low and probably have to eat a good chunk of his deal in sending him to DH elsewhere. So there's not really a point to it, unless the O's feel like they'd rather have a more versatile club. In the end, even if -- and it's a big if -- the Os find a way to unload Trumbo, it doesn't save them nearly the money that would be required to lock up a guy like Machado, or even Schoop, long term.
With big-name arms like Yu Darvish, Jacob Arrieta, etc., still on the market and the lack of depth in the organization, how likely are the Orioles to at least check in with them to get an idea of asking price?
-- Brayden, Hagerstown, Md.

I'm sure the Orioles are well aware of the asking price for guys like Darvish and Arrieta. The problem is, in addition to being out of their price range, the O's would have to sell any big free agent on coming to Baltimore and pitching at hitter-friendly Camden Yards. That in itself can be a tough sell, meaning the club may have to overpay or add contract incentives to get a free agent to sign. It's an uphill battle and another reason why the Orioles are looking into trading for young, controllable starters. It's a much easier route to plug rotation holes.
If the Orioles are not trading Manny, [Brad Brach] or [Mychal Givens], where are they going to get starters? The free-agent pitching market is getting thinner by the day.
-- James, Rochester, N.Y.

They've made offers this offseason to free-agent pitchers. Some picked other teams and some are mulling things over in an unusually slow offseason. Part of this isn't on the O's, they can't control when free agents make their decisions. But, I agree with you, time is of the essence. I think the first two weeks in January are going to be a critical time for Baltimore to start making moves to fill out the roster.
Any chance that the Orioles would make a run at signing Jonathan Jay? A left-handed hitter with some pop would fit well at Camden Yards.
-- Rod B., York, Pa.

They've had a lot of interest in Jay in the past and haven't been able to get things done. I agree with you in that he's a guy who fits Baltimore well. But I haven't heard anything to suggest he's high on their board. Maybe if he hangs out there long enough, those rumors will heat up. I think part of it is the Orioles have much bigger holes to tend to and they seem pretty intent on trading to add a left-handed hitter.