The Baltimore Orioles apparently are ready to step to the bargaining table.
The Orioles would be willing to trade franchise shortstop Manny Machado to the Yankees if New York includes left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield in the return package, MLB Network’s Jon Morosio reported Wednesday, citing a source.
A Yankees-Orioles blockbuster is by no means a done deal, though: according to Morosi, there’s “skepticism” the Yanks would part with Sheffield to acquire a rental, as Machado will become an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Part of New York’s “skepticism” is understandable: MLB.com ranks Sheffield as the No. 2 prospect in the Yankees’ system, and there’s a chance the 22-year-old hurler, who was promoted to Triple-A in early May, could break into the big leagues later this season.
Then again, acquiring Machado would bolster the Yankees’ already strong World Series odds: The 26-year-old is enjoying a career year for the struggling Orioles with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs before the All-Star break.
As Morosi notes, New York’s decision may come down to whether it trades promising third baseman Miguel Andujar.
Andujar, 23, and Didi Gregorious, 28, represent a strong left side of the infield, and the Yankees’ need for another starting pitcher may trump the allure of landing a four-time All-Star like Machado.
If New York passes on Machado, there will be plenty of other teams in the mix for his services — the rival Boston Red Sox reportedly included.
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