The Baltimore Orioles have received a couple calls of inquiry on superstar third baseman Manny Machado, and while the Orioles are not shopping — and love — Machado, word is that would be willing to listen on any player – even their best player.
Even in a relatively-down 2017, Machado hit for a .782 OPS (a 107 OPS+) with 33 home runs and 95 RBI while posting a 3.5 WAR.
There are no known offers, and it would obviously take a ton for the Orioles to even consider moving such a superstar. The Yankees and Phillies are among many teams expected to have interest in Machado, who is eligible for free agency after the 2018 season – though the call list isn’t known.
While this is going on, behind the scenes the Orioles are also discussing whether to try to make a play to keep Machado long-term. He could be expected to receive a contract in the range of Giancarlo Stranton’s record $325 million deal as a free agent, and other teams believe that might be too steep for the Orioles, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try.
Maybe they’d be more apt to seriously listen if they found out they can’t extend him. The Yankees have Chase Headley at third base, but they are open to trading Headley, and are expected to have big interest in Machado as a free agent if he isn’t traded. The Phillies have Maikel Franco, who is expected to get another chance this year after a disappointing 2017 season for him. If the Giants don’t get top target Stanton, they’d make sense as a potential interested party, as well. The Cardinals could be a possibility too, as well as any team that loses the Giancarlo Stanton sweepstakes.
There would be expected to be a multitude of teams interested in Machado, perhaps many as a shortstop instead of at the hot corner.
Machado is just one coveted trade chip the Orioles have; closer Zach Britton, who was nearly traded to the eventual World Series-champion Houston Astros at the deadline, has also drawn interest. That deal fell through, due to either medical concerns about one of the Astros players returning in the deal or owner Peter Angelos simply getting cold feet.