Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado could be on a different team in 2018
Baltimore Orioles fans need to prepare themselves as Manny Machado could be traded during the Winter Meetings.
The latest Baltimore Orioles reports from Orlando involve several teams showing interest in the outstanding third baseman.
According to several sources, there are teams that are in varying states of interest and the Orioles reportedly been talking to these teams about Machado.
Who made the claim?
Machado discussions in the media began in the morning as Ken Rosenthal reported in The Athletic. He claimed that the O’s actually have a goal in trading Machado. Rosenthal wrote:
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"“The Orioles’ goal in a Machado trade is to acquire two young, controllable starting pitchers, sources say.”"
Shortly after Rosenthal’s piece went live, Buck Showalter was interviewed on MLB Network Radio. He did not deny that the Orioles were discussing Machado with other teams, but he did say they were not shopping him. There is a difference between discussing and shopping. When teams shop their players, they are actively trying to trade them. Discussing a player is a way for general managers to see if players could be traded and what teams would be willing to give up if a transaction were to occur.
The fact that Showalter did not deny talks about Machado makes it a real possibility that he could wear a different uniform in 2018. It seems as if this result is inevitable as Machado is approaching free agency and his projected contract will be near or over what Giancarlo Stanton has. As the O’s are unlikely to pay someone that much money, Machado will likely play elsewhere. These discussions are only speeding up the inevitable.
Where could he go?
According to several sources and Tweets, a handful of teams are interested. They include the New York Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Philadelphia Phillies. Adding Machado to the Yankees would be a difficult pill for O’s fans to swallow, but this is not the first time the All-Star has been linked with the Yankees. They have money to spend, even after the Stanton trade.
What a Machado trade means for the O’s
Trading Machado before his final guaranteed season with the Orioles would signal the team’s goal for 2018. Unfortunately, a Machado trade could show that the team is on its way to a rebuild, unless the Orioles get proven arms in exchange. If prospects are acquired, then a rebuild is on the horizon.
If Machado is traded, the O’s would need a third baseman, because there isn’t anyone that has been groomed to fill that spot. Jonathan Schoop could do it, but it would require more shuffling as second base would then need to be filled.
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Expectations for the Winter Meetings involved Dan Duquette signing some pitchers. A Manny Machado trade would certainly take the fanbase by surprise. And, the surprise might not be very welcome – especially if the return is not of the same caliber.