Manny Machado will likely be the most talked-about name on the trade market this summer, and it would appear that teams are already beginning to inquire with the Orioles about his services. Baltimore GM Dan Duquette confirmed to FanRag’s Jon Heyman that rival clubs have expressed interest, though he unsurprisingly declined to elaborate much.
“We don’t need to negotiate in the press, but I can tell you there are more teams interested now (than the winter),” said Duquette. “If you’re interested in making an impact, this is the player.”
Heyman does report, though, that the Phillies are among the teams that have already reached out on the superstar infielder. The Braves, he adds, have yet to inquire. Philadelphia’s interest in Machado is hardly a surprise given that president Andy MacPhail is the former head of baseball ops in the Orioles front office, while GM Matt Klentak and assistant GM Ned Rice all came up through the Baltimore front office as well.
Heyman also notes that the Orioles’ asking price on Machado is believed by other teams to be far too high at the moment. It’s common in virtually any negotiation (trade or free agent), of course, for the early asking price to be considerably loftier than the ultimate price. Heyman cites a “Phillies-connected person” in suggesting that the Orioles have sought four young players in return for their star.
Certainly, that’s a lot to ask, though any package would typically be headlined by one or two high-level talents and a few secondary pieces. As Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic wrote yesterday (subscription link), the O’s will want a package comparable to the Aroldis Chapman return from 2016, when the Cubs sent Gleyber Torres and three lesser others — Billy McKinney, Rashad Crawford and veteran Adam Warren — to the Yankees to rent Chapman for a few months. Some have expressed skepticism about the possibility of that type of return after J.D. Martinez and Yu Darvish fetched more modest returns, though Rosenthal rightly notes that Machado would be the best position-player rental on the market in recent history.
The Cubs have already come up as an oft-speculated landing spot, though president of baseball ops Theo Epstein emphatically quashed those rumors late last month when he termed such speculation to be off in “fantasy land” and said trade negotiations to that point in the season had been “nil.” The Dodgers, too, are frequently mentioned as a possibility in the wake of Corey Seager’s Tommy John surgery, while the Diamondbacks were among the most heavily linked clubs to Machado in the offseason. Certainly, other clubs figure to join the fray as the deadline approaches, as many teams aren’t yet sure what type of trajectory they’ll plot in late July.