Manny Machado trade rumors: Phillies, Orioles are reportedly making progress in talks

With 18 days to go before the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline, the Manny Machado rumors are growing more intense by the day. Multiple contenders are in on the All-Star shortstop.

Among those teams is the Philadelphia Phillies, and, according to multiple reports, the Phillies and Orioles are reportedly making progress with their trade talks. That does not mean a deal is imminent! It just means the two teams are moving down the line a bit.

The Phillies come into Friday at 52-40 with a half-game lead in the NL East. Starting shortstop J.P. Crawford is on the disabled list and wasn't playing all that well prior to getting hurt. Crawford has hit .194/.312/.333 (75 OPS+) in 34 games this year. Yikes.

Machado is, of course, one of the premier offensive players in the game. He's currently hitting .316/.385/.573 (163 OPS+) with 23 home runs and the lowest strikeout rate (12.7 percent) of his career. Machado would be an enormous upgrade at shortstop for the Phillies. He's also the type of player who could change the balance of power in the NL East, and give Philadelphia an edge over the Braves going forward.

It is widely expected the Phillies will pursue Machado as a free agent after the season, and, because of that, it's easy to say the team should keep their prospects and just sign him this winter. Two problems with that:

  1. Waiting to sign Machado doesn't help the Phillies win in 2018.
  2. Signing Machado is hardly a guarantee. He'll be in high demand.

Trading for Machado now improves the Phillies' chances this year, and it gives the two sides time to evaluate things before free agency. He could fall in love with the team and the city, so much so that he'd be willing to re-sign with the team quickly as a free agent. On the other side of the coin, what if Machado comes to Philadelphia and hates it? That's good to know before signing him to a nine-figure extension.

The Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, and Brewers are among the other clubs in the mix for Machado. The Phillies have a deep farm system and also deep pockets. They have a mostly clean slate financially going forward given their lack of long-term contracts. The Phillies are in good position to spend going forward, and they're also in good position to win right now, in 2018. Adding Machado would help do that.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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