Posted on December 12, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine

Baltimore Orioles Manny Machado

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The Giancarlo Stanton trade saga just reached its conclusion, and now another superstar may be on the move as well. There are rumblings that Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado could be on the move this winter as well. Teams are understandably asking about Machado, and it appears as if the Orioles are willing to listen, making a trade possible.

It’s well known that Machado has just one year left on his contract. He and Bryce Harper are expected to be the two biggest fish on the free-agent market next winter. Both players could potentially command contracts worth more than the one Stanton got from the Marlins not too long ago, which explains why the Orioles and Machado have not had serious talks about an extension.

Of course, any team trading for Machado would likely have him for just one season. There’s no indication that Baltimore would give a team trading for him an exclusive window to reach an extension with Machado. There’s also no indication that Machado would be open to signing an extension before hitting the open market next offseason. Nevertheless, reports coming out of the MLB Winter Meetings indicate that “several clubs” have spoken to the Orioles about Machado.

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Aside from his contract situation, the other caveat with Machado is that he’d prefer to play shortstop this season. He’d also like to go on the free-agent market as a shortstop. Whether the Orioles or any of the teams interested in trading for him would be amenable to that remains to be seen. It may also not be what’s best for Machado. Most teams have either an established or up-and-coming shortstop in place, limiting the number of teams in the market for a shortstop. Machado may be better off staying at third base or at least being open-minded when it comes to his position.

Right now, the two teams most connected with Machado in trade talks appear to be the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies. After missing out on Stanton, the Cardinals are still eager to add an impact offensive player. They were reportedly willing to take on most of Stanton’s contract, and so they could potentially afford to sign Machado to an extension. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see them turn their focus toward Machado after not getting Stanton.

The Phillies also appear to have a great deal of interest in Machado. Philadelphia appears to be nearing the end stages of a rebuilding project and are preparing to become competitive again soon. Adding Machado for 2018 would certainly accelerate that process. The Phillies also have plenty of young talent that could be used to acquire Machado.

At the moment, there’s no reason to believe that a trade for Machado is close to happening. However, the Orioles have reportedly told teams to make genuine offers, and the club appears to be considering those offers. Baltimore is reportedly seeking at least two young, high-level pitchers that remain under team control long term. That’s a lofty asking price for a player with one year left on his contract. But with so many potential suitors, it’s possible that one team makes the Orioles an offer for Machado that they can’t refuse. This is definitely a situation worth monitoring.

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