Manny Machado trade market: Eight teams talking to Orioles, but these two are the front-runners
The Manny Machado trade market appears to be taking shape
Given that the Orioles are terrible and that pending free agent Manny Machado is the opposite of terrible, it seems highly likely that the star infielder will be moved in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline.
Machado in his age-25 season is batting .311/.378/.565 (160 OPS+) with 21 home runs in 83 games. That's on pace to be easily a career year for Machado, and he's also proved himself capable of returning to the shortstop position in 2018. He's going to get paid this coming offseason, and he may wind up fetching a bigger contract than Bryce Harper does.
"I've talked to people involved in this over the last 24 hours, and I've talked to teams. Eight teams have confirmed to me that they've had discussions with the Orioles on Machado over the last 10 days. This is heating up. I've also been told, for people that are skeptical if the Angelos family will approve a deal, I've been told they are going to approve a deal. Their intent is to trade the player. When they get the package they like, they will move him."
So, yes, Machado is almost certainly going to be traded. At this point, you're no doubt wondering who those eight teams are. Straight from Bowden and CBS Sports HQ, here they are ...
Some teams would have Machado in mind as a shortstop (the Diamondbacks, for instance), and others would target him for his stronger position of third base (the Indians, for instance, who would then move Jose Ramirez to second base). The Cubs don't really have a clear need for him, as Kris Bryant is entrenched at third and shortstop Addison Russell has been producing at a solid clip this season. As for the heavily hyped Dodgers, Bowden says: "My intel says no, that they're not even close." The Braves and Brewers, meantime, don't like the current asking price.
That leaves us with this key takeaway from Bowden:
"I look at this and I go Phillies, Cardinals -- probably the frontrunners right now."
In terms of production to date, the Phillies' most glaring need is at short. Machado would also be an upgrade at third over Maikel Franco, who himself has been the subject of trade rumors. As for St. Louis, they're already giving Jose Martinez time in the outfield because of his sub-par defense at first base. Installing Machado at third base would allow Matt Carpenter to be the primary first baseman.
Whatever the case, expect some clarity on this front soon -- possibly several days in advance of the deadline.
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