MLB Hot Stove Rumors: Indians and Orioles have talked Manny Machado trade
The Orioles likely want pitching, and the Indians have plenty of it
As we've known for a long time, the Orioles are open to trading star infielder Manny Machado, who's entering his walk year despite being just 25 years of age. Teams like the White Sox, Cardinals, Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, and Diamondbacks have been mentioned in connection with Machado, but thus far the Orioles haven't been able to match up with anyone. Now MLB.com's Jon Morosi adds another potential trading partner to the fray ...
The Indians and Orioles were in contact last month regarding a possible Machado trade, although sources said Friday that the sides aren't actively discussing him now.
Cleveland would certainly be a compelling destination for Machado, who owns a career OPS+ of 116 across parts of six big-league seasons. Machado has said he wants to shift back to his original position of shortstop in 2018, but Cleveland obviously isn't going to move Francisco Lindor off short for anyone. So Machado would land at third, and Jose Ramirez would shift to second base. That, of course, would leave Jason Kipnis without a position. Perhaps he'd be willing to take on a super-sub role (he can play the outfield, as he proved in 2017), or perhaps the Indians would deal him to Baltimore or elsewhere. Either way, a Machado-Lindor-Ramirez-Yonder Alonso infield in Cleveland is a tantalizing hypothetical.
On the Baltimore side of things, they'd likely be seeking rotation help in any trade for Machado. The Indians have plenty of that, and building a package around Danny Salazar, as Morosi notes, seems likely a starting point.
Right now, it seems unlikely that Machado will be traded before the season begins. However, if the Orioles get off to a slow start and settle into an also-ran role early on, then a deal could happen well in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. As Morosi notes, talks between the Indians and Orioles aren't on at the moment, but all of this raises the possibility that they'll revist discussions in the near future.
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