The Baltimore Orioles are desperate for starting pitching and their superstar is one year away from a run in free agency that likely lands him well over $200 million. Add those things together and we get the following report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
The Baltimore Orioles are shopping Manny Machado, and there's a twist — Machado wants to move from third base to shortstop as he enters his final season before free agency, according to major league sources.
The Orioles' goal in a Machado trade is to acquire two young, controllable starting pitchers, sources say.
Machado is entering his age-25 season, but he already has three All-Star Games, two top-five MVP finishes and two Gold Gloves under his belt. In a down year last season, he hit .259/.310/.479 with 33 doubles, 33 homers and 95 RBI. Of course, he got off to a miserable start and hit .290/.326/.500 in the second half.
Machado was a shortstop in the minors but mostly has played third in the majors to great success. He handled shortstop fine in 43 starts in 2016, but it remains to be seen how well he'd handle it long term as an everyday starter.
As for teams who would have interest in acquiring Machado for one year before he hits free agency, look for any contender with a hole at shortstop and pitching to give. It's not a long list.
One that really sticks out is the Cardinals. They have starting pitching depth from which to deal and they could shift Paul DeJong to third base with Matt Carpenter remaining at first. I wonder about the Rockies if they'd want to move or bench Trevor Story for a year. The Diamondbacks seem like they could work as well. If the Yankees come to mind, wipe that thought away. Rosenthal reports the Orioles won't trade with them.