Manny Machado is going to be a free agent in just a few months, but that’s not stopping the Baltimore Orioles from demanding a heavy price to acquire the superstar shortstop.
Even though Machado is a rental, the Orioles are within reason to ask for a lot. He’s still one of the best infielders in baseball, and he’s having a great season at the plate, hitting .314 with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs for the last-place Birds.
As the July 31 trade deadline approaches, we’re starting to get a better idea of what exactly the Orioles seek in a trade for Machado. Given the Orioles’ failures to develop starting pitching, it should come as no surprise that their requests begin with a top-flight pitching prospect.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Orioles discussed Machado with the Cleveland Indians, and Baltimore wanted either Triston McKenzie or Shane Bieber. Both are pitching prospects ranked in MLB.com’s top 100 prospects list (McKenzie is No. 21; Bieber is No. 90).
Morosi also reported the Orioles are keen on Yankees pitching prospect Justus Sheffield in talks with the Bombers. Sheffield also lands on the top 100 list at No. 39, and it sounds like New York isn’t crazy about the idea of moving him for a rental — yet.
Longtime baseball reporter Jim Bowden reported Wednesday that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers are said to have the best offers on the table for Machado. What do those teams all have in common? Yep, all three teams have pitching prospects in the top 100 (L.A.’s Mitchell White is No. 83, Arizona’s Jon Duplantier is No. 60 and Brewers prospect Corbin Burnes is No. 56 on the list). Speaking of Burnes, Bowden mentioned him as part of a potential package of players that also includes outfielder Keon Broxton and shortstop Orlando Arcia.
If that’s what the Brewers can land — a top-100 pitching prospect and two young big leaguers with upside — that would be a pretty good haul, even for a player of Machado’s stature.
If you’re a Red Sox fan hoping to see Boston get more involved in the sweepstakes, that would seem unlikely. The Red Sox do have a pair of top-100 prospects, including a pitcher, but left-hander Jay Groome (No. 77 overall) currently is recovering from Tommy John surgery. If the Red Sox were serious about Machado, they could sweeten the pot by involving a piece of their big league core, but they probably would deem that too pricey. Perhaps a slightly used Zach Britton would interest Boston more.
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