JULY 15, 2:59pm: The Phillies, Dodgers and Brewers are indeed in the lead for Machado, according to Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun, but a source tells him “it’s too close to call” whose offer is the best. The Braves are still alive, adds Encina, who writes that “the strength of the Yankees’ offer appears to have been exaggerated.”
2:32pm: The Yankees are still “serious” about acquiring Machado, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hears.
1:37pm: The Orioles continue progressing toward a deal, tweets Olney, who echoes Heyman in suggesting the Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers are the three most likely clubs to acquire Machado. Olney omits the Yankees and Indians, however.
9:06am: The Brewers have made a “good offer” for Machado, Heyman tweets, adding that they “appear” to join the Phillies and Dodgers as the most likely landing spots for the shortstop. The Yankees and Indians are also still alive, Heyman suggests.
JULY 14, 5:44pm: The Orioles are “definitely motivated” to get a deal done as soon as possible, Olney adds, citing an evaluator who is familiar with trade discussions.
5:14pm: The Orioles are “making progress and narrowing their focus” in Machado trade talks, Buster Olney of ESPN tweets. The Phillies and Brewers are said to be among the finalists; it isn’t clear who the other finalist(s) might be at this time.
1:19pm: The Phillies are “thought to be” ahead of the Yankees “and maybe most others” in the Machado derby, Heyman tweets. The Brewers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Indians remain in the mix, though, per Heyman.
That said, there’s some uncertainty among teams pursuing Machado as to when the O’s intend to make a decision, according to ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick (Twitter links). While the club is said to “have a pretty good idea what [Machado] can bring” back in a trade, it seems that some suitors are wondering if the Orioles won’t wait to act until the deadline gets closer.
12:55pm: The Phillies have improved their offer to the Orioles for star infielder Manny Machado, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter links). In recent days, the Brewers, Dodgers and Yankees have been categorized as the favorites to land Machado. However, Rosenthal suggests that while the Dodgers and Yankees have the strongest offers on the table, the Brewers are beginning to fade from the mix, while the Diamondbacks are, at this point, “on [the] periphery” of the market.
Regarding the Yankees’ interest in Machado, some have considered it a questionable fit given the presence of Miguel Andujar and Didi Gregorius on the roster. Rosenthal, though, echoes recent suggestions from MLB.com’s Jon Morosi that it’s at least possible that Andujar could be utilized as the centerpiece of a trade to acquire a controllable piece in the rotation, thus opening a spot for Machado. There are questions about Andujar’s defense, Rosenthal notes, which is borne out in defensive ratings (-12 Defensive Runs Saved, -7 Ultimate Zone Rating).
Suffice it to say, there are plenty of moving parts on the Machado front. Baltimore has been said to be keen on acquiring controllable starting pitching, and the Phillies have plenty of options in that regard, as do the Brewers, Yankees and Dodgers.
It’s not yet clear what, precisely, the Phillies (or any team) is willing to offer up, though the Phils have intriguing young rotation pieces in the form of Zach Eflin and Enyel De Los Santos, each of whom has already pitched in the Majors this season (extensively so, in Eflin’s case). Right-handers Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina are each considered to be among the game’s top 75 or so prospects, and the Phils have a number of MLB-ready back-of-the-rotation options on the 40-man roster who could be secondary pieces (e.g. Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Drew Anderson, Mark Leiter Jr.)
Regarding the Yankees’ scenario, while some fans would undoubtedly bristle at the very notion of moving Andujar, third base is a position of depth for the Yanks, who still have Brandon Drury as an option who could step onto the big league roster following the season, should that scenario ultimately play out. Of course, the Yankees also figure to be prominent players in the offseason market to acquire Machado this winter, and if they’re successful in that regard, Andujar would’ve potentially been viewed as an expendable piece anyhow. As ever, it’s worth emphasizing that that’s one of numerous scenarios that’s likely being kicked around at this juncture.
As for the Brewers, they’ve previously been said to be among the most aggressive suitors, but right-hander Corbin Burnes, one of the Orioles’ targets, could prove to be a sticking point in those talks. Tom Haudircourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel took a lengthy look at the fit between the Brewers and Machado earlier today, calling him an “absolutely perfect” fit given the team’s deficiencies in the lineup — particularly at shortstop. Milwaukee, according to Haudricourt, still views struggling Orlando Arcia as its shortstop in 2019 and beyond, but Machado would give them a potentially overpowering top of the order, joining Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich, Jesus Aguilar, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames/Ryan Braun.