While Rhys Hoskins was getting passed by Kyle Schwarber in the semi-finals of the Home Run Derby last night, it appears that the Los Angeles Dodgers may have also passed the Phillies in the Manny Machado Derby.
MLB insider Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports was first out with the story on Twitter this morning:
Breaking; The Dodgers appear to be the leading contender for superstar Manny Machado as talks head toward the finish line. The situation is fluid and brewers and phillies may still have an outside chance. Barring turnabout, deal should be done this week. Story comin on @Fancred
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 17, 2018
Just yesterday it was the Phillies who were considered the leader to land the services of the superstar Baltimore Orioles shortstop. They were willing to include the organizational number two prospect in pitcher Adonis Medina in a deal. That seemed to be a potential deal clincher.
However, Heyman believes that Los Angeles GM Farhan Zaidi may be willing to include their own fourth-ranked organizational prospect, outfielder Yusniel Diaz, which may have tipped the scales in the Dodgers favor.
It’s difficult to believe that Diaz, a former Cuban defector as a teenager, would make that much of a difference. He is an intriguing prospect. Yes, he hit two home runs in the Futures Game. However, scouting reports on his ultimate ceiling have always been mixed. Perhaps the Orioles scouts see something they really like in the 21-year old outfielder.
The Dodgers lost their own young superstar shortstop, Corey Seager, to injury for the season before it even got underway. Seager will be back next year, and Machado has stated that he wishes to play shortstop. Heyman addressed this in a full piece later in the morning:
“If he moves to Los Angeles, Machado will effectively be filling in for injured shortstop Corey Seager, the 24-year-old budding star who was lost for the season. That makes it highly likely that he would be a rental for the remainder of the season and then sign with a different organization in the offseason, though that would be re-evaluated after the season.”
Another respected MLB insider, Buster Olney, put out more information on Tuesday morning:
Sources: The Orioles have structure of a deal in place, and are going through the medicals/paperwork portion of the transaction. Dodgers have been very invested in their pursuit of Machado, as have the Phillies and other teams, but this in not finished yet.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 17, 2018
If it is the Dodgers, that might make it easier for the Phillies to lure him with a long-term contract in the coming off-season. It would also allow them to keep their top prospects. But it would also mean that the Phillies don’t land the proven impact run producer for which the present lineup is desperate.
Until a deal is actually completed and announced with some team, the Phillies are still in it. But it may be difficult to see them actually being the winner in this Machado derby without including pitching phenom Sixto Sanchez. His inclusion would appear to be a deal-breaker, as it probably should be at this point.