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With Yankees ‘less involved,’ Phillies reportedly among ‘finalists’ for Manny Machado

Will the Phillies land Manny Machado before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline? (Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons)

In many industries, even during the busiest times of the year, things slow down on the weekend. Baseball – and baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline, specifically – doesn’t apply.

Just over a week after Mark Feinsand of suggested that the Phillies were “moving on” from their attempt to trade for Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado for the time being, ESPN‘s Buster Olney tweeted Friday that the Philadelphia Phillies, along with the Milwaukee Brewers, are among the finalists for the four-time All-Star. Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports says that the Brewers have become “aggressive” in their attempt to land the free-agent-to-be. He also says the Phillies are the forefront of discussions for Machado, just a day after writing that the Phillies have also been “aggressive” as they attempt to acquire a star that could help them reach the postseason for the first time since 2011.

Perhaps the most interesting development in the Machado sweepstakes is that according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the New York Yankees appear to be ‘less involved.’ I wondered yesterday if the Phillies weren’t increasing their involvement in the Machado derby because they feared that if Machado spent a few months in New York, he wouldn’t leave. If Machado goes to the Brewers, Cleveland Indians or Arizona Diamondbacks, he won’t re-sign there. The Los Angeles Dodgers, in theory, could re-sign him, but with Justin Turner at third base and Corey Seager set to return to shortstop in 2019, the Dodgers may not be motivated enough to outbid the Phillies.

While some of the Yankees young talents figure to get expensive rather quickly in the next few years, they only have $86 million in financial commitments for 2019. There would be a lot of moving parts – they would either have to convince Machado to play third base permanently of trade shortstop Didi Gregorius – but it’s feasible to think they could pull it off. The idea of playing with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres for the sport’s most popular team would understandably be very enticing.

Rosenthal noted that RHP Adonis Medina, the Phillies No. 2 overall prospect, is someone that the Orioles have interest in. He previously said the same about injured shortstop/third baseman J.P. Crawford. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia added a few other names of interest to the Orioles; shortstop Arquemedes Gamboa, the No. 8 overall prospect in the Phillies system; RHP Franklyn Kilome, the No. 7 overall prospect in the Phillies system; LHP Ranger Suarez, the No. 9 overall prospect in the Phillies system and outfielder/first baseman Jhailyn Ortiz, the Phillies No. 5 overall prospect. He speculated that Enyel De Los Santos, Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr also could be of interest. However, Heyman added today that the Phillies appear to be reluctant to part with De Los Santos.

The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31.

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