The Philadelphia Phillies will face Manny Machado and the Baltimore Orioles in a makeup game Thursday evening. Will Machado be wearing red pinstripes the next time they see him? That doesn’t appear overly likely – unless the next time they see him is in 2019 – but general manager Matt Klentak continues to discuss Machado with Orioles brass.
Jim Bowden and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Wednesday that the Phillies continue to discuss Machado with the Orioles, but don’t appear to be one of the front-runners to land the 26-year-old.
In an appearance on CBS Sports HQ, Bowden said that while the Phillies aren’t willing to part with No. 1 overall prospect Sixto Sanchez, he’s not sure they won’t ultimately be willing to include No. 2 overall prospect Adonis Medina in a trade:
“The Philadelphia Phillies continue to stay in touch with the Orioles. Despite contrary reports from media, this absolutely has been the case the whole time. They have checked in recently. Although they won’t go with Sixto Sanchez in the deal – they will not include him – Adonis Medina is a guy at the end of the day they may put in a deal with J.P. Crawford.”
The “contrary reports from media” that Bowden is referring to is a report from Mark Feinsand of MLB.com last Friday that suggested that the Phillies had ‘moved on’ from Machado ‘for now.’ To be fair, some have misrepresented Feinsand’s report – the gist was that the Phillies were considering other options than Machado with the Orioles, in their minds, asking for too much in return for the four-time All-Star. It appeared to be posturing by the Phillies, more than a sign that they didn’t plan to re-engage in talks.
Jon Morosi of MLB.com wrote last week that the Phillies likely wouldn’t be willing to part with a Zach Eflin – who has a 2.32 ERA in his last seven starts – for Machado, who is just months away from free-agency. Morosi seemed unsure if the Phillies would ultimately move Medina if he’s what the Orioles asked for, but that isn’t entirely off-the-table like Sanchez and Eflin appear to be.
J.P. Crawford, who is currently on the disabled list with a broken hand, is someone the Orioles have interest in, per Rosenthal. Despite a seemingly high ceiling, and an ability to play both third base and shortstop, it appears hard to imagine Crawford headlining a deal for Machado at this juncture.
For his part, Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports says that while the Phillies remain interested in Machado, they don’t feel great about their chances of landing him this summer:
Manny Machado, beloved by Phillies people, remains their top target…But in recent days they seem to be getting a bit discouraged about their chances. So they will consider other infielders, especially ones who hit.
The Phillies appear to be taking a calculated risk in their approach to the Machado trade sweepstakes this month. On one hand, it feels like a lot to give up Crawford, Medina or any young players of substance for a rental. Not only could Machado leave in free-agency after the 2018 season, but if the Phillies just wait until free-agency to sign Machado, they could keep their talented young pieces to either play around Machado or to trade for other pieces. With that said, if a team like the Yankees acquires Machado, he may enjoy his time there so much that it puts the Phillies at a disadvantage come free-agency.