As expected, the Manny Machado rumors are coming back around.

The Baltimore Orioles third baseman-turned-shortstop was at the center of widespread trade speculation during the offseason, with the Chicago Cubs rumored to be among the most interested. And now, with the season barely a month old, the Cubs are preparing for a run at the 25-year-old, Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer reported Tuesday.

“After checking in on his availability during the winter,” Wittenmyer wrote, “The Cubs expect to talk to the Orioles about Machado again when the worst team in the American League inevitably makes the pending free agent available in the coming weeks, insiders say.”

That would be quite a splash from the North Siders.

Machado, of course, is set to be a free agent after the season. And even with cash-crunched offseason fresh in mind, many expect him to fetch a $300 million contract — if not higher — on the open market.

Through 34 games this season, Machado is batting .346 with nine homers and 27 RBIs.

Thumbnail photo via Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports Images