The Baltimore Orioles appear to be moving closer to a Manny Machado deal.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Orioles are narrowing down their potential Machado trade partners to move closer to a final deal. Among the finalists are the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, who have frequently been named as leading candidates.
Sources: Orioles making progress and narrowing their focus in the Machado trade talks. Phillies and Brewers appear to be among the finalists.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 14, 2018
The Los Angeles Dodgers have also been frequently named as a serious suitor for Machado, though Olney doesn’t name them here. The New York Yankees have been linked, but reports vary as to just how driven they are to acquire the Baltimore shortstop.
It looks almost certain that Machado will be moved before the July 31 deadline. One finalist may be more motivated to land him than the others, but it sounds like something could happen fairly soon.
The Philadelphia Phillies are one of a handful of teams that have been linked to Manny Machado over the past several weeks, and it sounds like their interest in acquiring the star shortstop has not waned.
With several teams keeping in contact with the Baltimore Orioles about Machado, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Phillies have upped their offer.
Standard caveat applies: Trade talks are fluid, and one text or call can change dynamic of discussions.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 13, 2018
Also of note is that Rosenthal says the Milwaukee Brewers, who were at one point considered the favorite to land Machado, are losing momentum. The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees are said to have the best offers on the table.
A report from last week indicated the Phillies had dropped out of the Machado sweepstakes, but that may have just been a leverage play. They can offer the 26-year-old an opportunity to play shortstop and have the money to sign him long-term. The Yankees have been hesitant to include one player that Baltimore wants and would be asking Machado to go back to playing third base, so those factors could stand in the way of the Orioles trading Machado within the division.
The Philadelphia Phillies have reportedly found that the asking price for Manny Machado is steeper than they are comfortable paying, but that does not mean they are giving up on acquiring the star shortstop.
Jon Heyman of Fancred reported on Tuesday that Machado remains the “top target” for the Phillies as the trade deadline approaches, though they are also formulating a Plan B.
machado is still the top target for Phillies (they had a scout with o's last night) but they are targeting other infielders as backup plans
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 10, 2018
The report we heard on Monday about the Phillies dropping out of the Machado sweepstakes was almost certainly a negotiating ploy. It’s entirely possible that there are no teams willing to meet Baltimore’s asking price for a player who could end up being a two-month rental, and the Orioles will have to to ease up with their demands if that is the case.
A new team is said to have entered the mix for Machado late Monday night, and there are still a handful of teams that want the 26-year-old All-Star. It would be a surprise if the Phillies were no longer among them.
The Manny Machado market reportedly continues to narrow.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Philadelphia Phillies are no longer in pursuit of Machado, believing the cost of acquiring the star shortstop from the Baltimore Orioles is simply too steep.
Source says Phillies have moved on from Machado for now, as Orioles’ asking price is too high. My colleague @ToddZolecki reported yesterday that the Phillies were “considered longshots” for Machado.
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 6, 2018
This is more or less in line with other reporting. As talented as Machado is, he’s still only a rental, and interested teams probably aren’t going to get a guarantee that they’ll be able to sign him long-term. Subsequently, the Orioles’ high asking price is starting to cost them suitors. They may have to compromise a bit if they’re really intent on moving him by the trade deadline at the end of the month.
At this point, everyone is looking for hints as to where Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado will go, and if he’ll be willing to stick around long-term once he gets there.
On Wednesday, Machado dropped at least one hint. He seems to be quite impressed by how the Philadelphia Phillies have gone about their business.
Machado said he would not be surprised if Philly came hard after him: “They’re a good ball club. They’re young, they’re hungry, they want to win. They’ve been impressive. I know how Andy works and I've seen those guys work and they've turned this organization around."
— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) July 4, 2018
Of course, Machado probably isn’t going to publicly insult a potential trade destination, but he also could have blown off the question with a vague answer. The Phillies, however, may be looking at cheaper options.
The Philadelphia Phillies are clearly seeking an upgrade at third base.
Their latest potential target, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Philadelphia, is Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who is available on the trade market this summer. The Phillies have reportedly had preliminary discussions about a trade with the Royals, and Kansas City’s scouts have looked at Philadelphia’s minor league system for possible return pieces.
Moustakas is a cheaper trade option than Manny Machado, whom the Phillies would undoubtedly love to grab but would cost a huge haul in prospects for a player who’d possibly be a rental.
The Phillies are eyeing other third basemen as well, as struggling Maikel Franco has failed to make the position his own. It seems likely they’ll make a trade there.
At the end of July, Major League Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline will be upon us, and contenders will be making aggressive moves to improve their chances of making a deep postseason run. You’d be hard-pressed to name a contender that can’t use an upgrade somewhere, even if it’s a small one. A few teams really need to go for it and address some very obvious needs before the deadline passes.
Here are ten teams who could really stand to make a deal before July 31 — some even more than others.
10) Atlanta Braves
The Braves are still early enough in a rebuild cycle that is already bearing fruit, so making a deal isn’t a total necessity. But if the right fit comes along that doesn’t involve them compromising their future too much, they should do it. While the top of the Atlanta rotation has been good, they lack that veteran ace they can rely on in a pennant race; it should be Julio Teheran, but his numbers this year aren’t quite up to his standards. Another arm there would really fortify the Braves to make a real run at the postseason.