Manny Machado’s departure from the Baltimore Orioles is starting to feel more like a “when” rather than an “if.”

Machado is set to become a free agent at season’s end, and with the Orioles currently one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball, it would make sense for them to deal the 25-year-old by the trade deadline to avoid losing him for nothing this winter.

The Chicago Cubs have been tied to the most rumors surrounding a Machado trade, while the Cleveland Indians reportedly also are a contender. But based on a recent report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, there’s another team you can count on being in the sweepstakes.

“The Phillies love Machado and have indeed reached out, and seem like a favorite over others,” Heyman writes. “One Phillies-connected person suggested the Orioles are asking for four young players, and that at present, the price is ‘too steep.'”

While Baltimore’s asking price is expectedly high, patience could be a virtue for Philadelphia. In a recent column for The Athletic, Ken Rosenthal reported a supreme trade package for Machado might not be out there for the O’s given the precedent set in last season’s trade deadline deals involving J.D. Martinez and Yu Darvish.

It’s doubtful Baltimore sells low on Machado, but with the deadline less than two months away, time isn’t on their side in terms of figuring out what to do with their star shortstop.

Thumbnail photo via Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports