Orioles shortstop Manny Machado would be an ideal addition to just about all of the 29 MLB clubs he doesn't currently suit up for. But as his trade market heats up once again, contenders are begging to emerge from the pack.In a story for Fancred Sports published Thursday, MLB Network insider
Orioles shortstop Manny Machado would be an ideal addition to just about all of the 29 MLB clubs he doesn't currently suit up for. But as his trade market heats up once again, contenders are begging to emerge from the pack.
In a story for Fancred Sports published Thursday, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported that the Phillies and Dodgers are the most aggressive suitors for Machado to this point, according to a source connected with the Orioles organization. Another source indicated to Heyman that the D-backs and Cubs should also not be discounted in their pursuit of the Baltimore star.
Heyman maintained that the Machado sweepstakes remain wide open, with any resolution likely not arriving until on or very close to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Teams will need to strongly consider Machado's impending free agency this winter and whether they will be able to re-sign him moving forward, in addition to the considerable prospect haul it would take to convince the Orioles to trade their star away. Machado and the Orioles avoided arbitration with a one-year, $16 million deal this past offseason, so teams would be on the hook for a prorated salary just under $8 million for the remainder of 2018 if they were able to land him.
The Phillies have been linked to Machado about as long as any club dating back to when the Orioles first made him available on the market last winter. Philadelphia has former Orioles executives in its front office. The question for the Phillies, as with their competitors, is who they would be willing to part with. Heyman reported that a source connected with the Phillies indicated that the team would be "amenable" to dealing an elite arm like Sixto Sanchez, the organization's No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline, along with lower-tier pitchers and up-and-coming infielders from their farm system. Philadelphia entered Thursday 2 1/2 games back of the Braves in the National League East as it looks to take the next step forward in its rebuilding process.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, immediately became more serious players for Machado in the eyes of many once their shortstop, Corey Seager, was forced to miss the rest of the season to recover from Tommy John surgery. One anonymous executive suggested to Heyman that Los Angeles is trying to keep their discussions with the Orioles discreet.
Cubs general manager Theo Epstein shot down rumors earlier this summer that the Cubs were interested in trading for Machado to replace Addison Russell at shortstop, while the D-backs could look to capitalize on their lead in the NL West by acquiring a star who could significantly increase their title aspirations should they qualify for the postseason.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.