Phillies rumors: Latest on the Manny Machado situation

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 13: Manny Machado
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 13: Manny Machado /

Where do the Phillies stand in the bidding for Manny Machado?

Perhaps the hottest rumor stirring at the winter meetings down in Florida regards the future of Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado. Considering the Orioles aren’t likely to win this year in a tough American League East and Machado is entering the final year of his contract it would behoove Baltimore to make a splash.

Machado has long been linked to the Phillies for multiple reasons; team president Andy MacPhail drafted Machado in Baltimore, they’re are swimming in cash, and there’s a need for consistency at third base.

Any deal involving Machado would warrant an extension before any player is moved. The Phillies and Orioles would likely come to an agreement involving several of the team’s top prospects before Baltimore would give MacPhail permission to negotiate a contract with the 25-year-old infielder.

Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery have reportedly caught the eye of the Orioles, but they’ve perhaps the two most prized prospects in the Phillies farm system. Seeing one, let alone both, of them, go in any trade feels unlikely.

Maikel Franco would be penciled into the deal, and its likely prospects such as Mickey Moniak, Adam Haseley, Dylan Cozens, and Kevin Gowdy would be brought up. It’s much more likely the Phillies move on from Cozens considering his place in the organization is a mystery, and Gowdy is further down the farm system compared to Sanchez or Franklyn Kilome.

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Superagent Scott Boras, who does not represent Machado, said this week he doesn’t see Baltimore making any type of drastic move because their ownership wants to stay competitive.

Another issue with Machado is his reported desire to play shortstop instead of third base. Perhaps that desire comes from his pending free agency and an attempt to increase his marketability.

Baltimore wants to keep J.J. Hardy on the field, so it’s unlikely Machado gets his wish whether it’s in Baltimore or Philadelphia.

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While the thought of Machado wearing red pinstripes this season is incredibly exciting, the chances are unlikely Matt Klentak pulls off a trade with a stubborn Orioles ownership, despite the relationship from years past. Philadelphia is best suited to hold onto their prospects and wait until next offseason when Machado is slated to be a free agent.

If Machado is given an extension by Baltimore or another team that acquires him, the Phillies won’t be left out. Josh Donaldson will also be in the mix of tremendous free agents next offseason.