The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees are now in on the Manny Machado sweepstakes, according to multiple reports from MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko and ESPN‘s Buster Olney.
Though the Baltimore Orioles haven’t made any big moves during this year’s MLB Winter Meetings, there have been talks about a possible trade of their top-flight third baseman. Machado has been the crown jewel of the the MLB Winter Meetings. Just as newly-minted New York Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was heavily pursued, Machado is drawing similar interest.
“Teams continue to check on the availability of third baseman Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton,” wrote Kubatko on Monday. I was told this afternoon, and it’s part of the buzz inside the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort, that the Phillies are one of the more interested parties and the Orioles have been doing their homework on the club’s farm system in case talks become serious.”
When it comes to Machado possibly moving to Philadelphia, Baltimore would most likely ask for a top pitching prospect. In Kubatko’s article, he mentioned that the Orioles would pursue Sixto Sanchez, who is a 19-year old starting pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He’s only 19 years old and has a 100-mph fastball. Sanchez posted a record of 11-9, ERA of 2.47 and a 0.97 WHIP, over the course of 174.2 innings pitched. Sounds like he’d be pretty enticing for Baltimore.
Kubatko appeared on MLB Network on Tuesday to discuss Machado’s possible departure. While discussing with MLB Network’s Robert Flores, he mentioned that Baltimore will covet pitching in a Machado deal.
“Dan Duquette met with a few teams today, specifically to talk about Machado and to get a gauge on the market… what they could get in return,” Kubatko said Tuesday. “I think a lot of this has to do with they need pitching so bad: three openings in the rotation, they figure at least two are gonna have to be filled from the outside. They’re not gonna spend a lot, I think the price for even the second-tier guys are out of their reach and they are exploring the trade market.”
Buster Olney also mentioned that Baltimore and New York could be a fit, despite being in the same division:
Old school mentality on possible Yankees-O's Machado trade: You never deal an All-Star within your division. New school: Of course you consider it, if the Yankees — with a loaded farm system — could give you the most talent and set you up the best, moving forward.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 12, 2017
This wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for Baltimore to discuss a trade with a rival. After all, they acquired left-handed relief pitcher Richard Bleier from the Yankees just before last season and with the Tampa Bay Rays for shortstop Tim Beckham. It would be a pretty significant deal for the Orioles to move Machado because he is viewed as the top talent on their team.
If Baltimore were to trade within their division to New York, they would ask for the world from the Yankees. This “world” includes two of the Yankees top pitching prospects in Chance Adams and Justus Sheffield. Adams is 23, while Sheffield is 21. Both have had success in the minor leagues, with Adams posting an impressive 31-7 record, 2.33 ERA and a WHIP of 0.990 in 313.0 innings pitched. Sheffield has pitched to a 29-18 record, with a 3.27 ERA and 1.340 WHIP in 371.2 innings pitched.
Machado has also stated that he wants to play shortstop going forward. At the position, to be one of the best hitters in the game, as well as the best fielder, would make him a hot commodity going into free-agency. He would command a large amount as a third baseman, but as a shortstop, he will be the crown jewel of the 2018 MLB free-agent class.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s comments on Machado wanting to play shortstop:
“Always has, since the day he signed,” Showalter said to media at Lake Buena Vista, Florida on Tuesday. “I think out of his respect for J.J. Hardy — and one of the reasons why we brought Jonathan [Schoop] and him up early is because the chance to play alongside J.J. and really jump start their development in a lot of areas.”
“Manny has not only respect for J.J. but also for Tim Beckham and other people.To say that Manny and I haven’t had conversations about it over the years, I wouldn’t be truthful. … Obviously, we’re not there yet, but it’s something that Manny — I found that players need to know about that, not February 15 or March 15. They need to know about it back then — Manny’s capable of playing both real well. And I think so is Tim.”
It’s a toss-up where Machado will end up and what position he will play, but wherever he goes, it’ll make a huge story.
(Photo Credit: Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)