Manny Machado’s nephew told Pedro Martinez on the MLB Network Home Run Derby pregame show that if his uncle plays for any other team than the Baltimore Orioles in the second-half of the season, he wants it to be the New York Yankees. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports says that the Orioles are “very close” to agreeing to a deal involving the four-time All-Star, but it won’t be with the Yankees.
That would seem to bode well for the Philadelphia Phillies chances, as it puts a team with a deep farm system and even deeper pockets out of discussions for Machado for the time being. In all likelihood, the Yankees will show interest in Machado if (or probably when) he tests free-agency this offseason. But at the very least, they don’t appear to be likely to get a three-month trial with the 26-year-old shortstop.
Simply because the Yankees appear to be close to out of the picture to trade for Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline doesn’t mean that the Phillies are a lock to land him. ESPN.com‘s Buster Olney reported Sunday that talks for Machado are on the “10-yard line,” with the Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers seemingly the three finalists. But any suggestion that a deal has been reached between the Phillies and Orioles, with the two teams just waiting for Machado to appear in the All-Star Game Tuesday, is untrue according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com.
There does seem to be a fairly universal belief that a deal is close, perhaps so close that Machado won’t be with the Orioles when they kick off the second-half of their season in Toronto Friday evening. Heyman and Olney’s reports suggest that. Roch Kubatko of MASN also said that a deal was “very close.” Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic said Monday that he would be “shocked” if Machado plays another game for the Orioles. Once the All-Star game concludes Tuesday night, it would seem that it will be the eleventh hour for trade negotiations with the Orioles.
So one way or another, it would seem we are heading for a Machado resolution in the coming days. That, of course, will just be the first resolution. If he’s traded to the Phillies, sure, he’ll help the team in their quest to reach the postseason for the first time since 2011. But during that time the Phillies chances of retaining Machado after the season will be an oft-discussed topic. If he’s traded to the Dodgers or Brewers, he’ll still likely be in play for the Phillies to sign this offseason. So we’re just getting started with Machado.