One of the hottest names being discussed at the MLB Winter Meetings is Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
While Dan Connolly of Baltimorebaseball.com has noted that he doesn’t think a deal is “imminent,” Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com is reporting that “more than five teams” have an interest in the three-time All-Star.
#Orioles making “good progress” on Machado trade. More than 5 teams interested at Degrees.
— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) December 13, 2017
Roch Kubato of MASN also cited team general manager Dan Duquette, who noted that trading Machado to an AL East rival is a possibility.
Duquette didn’t dismiss chance of trading Machado within division. I still think couple of those teams would be hard sell for ownership #orioles
— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) December 13, 2017
Machado is coming off of a down year for his standards. He did hit 33 home runs and drove in 95. But his .259/.310/.471 slash line was well down from the .288/.346/.500 line from 2014-16.
Still, in addition to his three All-Star appearances, Machado has won two Gold Gloves and can also play shortstop. He’ll turn 26 during the 2018 season. So, there’s no worry about him being past his prime, either.
The real drawback of giving too much for Machado is that he’s set to be a free agent at season’s end. So, a blockbuster trade could amount to nothing more than a one-year rental.
Even if a deal is not done in the offseason, Machado’s pending free agent status means that he’ll be a hot topic of trade talks throughout the year. If the Orioles are out of contention during the summer, he’ll likely be the most talked about name during the trade deadline period.