As the rumor mill heats up and the Baltimore Orioles begin to more aggressively shop shortstop Manny Machado, two new potential bidders could emerge.
Baltimore is desperately in need of young, controllable pitching for the coming years and it could be the main area it seeks to land by trading Machado. While the Orioles will have league-wide interest for the 25-year-old, two competing NL East teams might be the perfect fit.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the perennial All-Star could prove to be a deciding factor in who wins the division between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. As noted in Morosi’s report, both Atlanta and Philadelphia’s farm system are deep in pitching prospects who could contribute in the near future.
While the report notes Philadelphia would likely keep its No.1 prospect, right-handed pitcher Sixto Sanchez, another option as the centerpiece in a deal could be righty Adonis Medina. Rated by MLB.com as Philadelphia’s second-best prospect, the 21-year-old could see the majors in 2019.
From Atlanta’s perspective, Morosi reports the team would be more stingy with some of its pitching prospects but others could be available. According to the report, Atlanta would likely rule out pitchers Sean Newcomb, Max Fried, Mike Soroka and Ian Anderson as a centerpiece.
However, that still leaves pitching prospects like southpaw Luis Gohara, Kolby Allard and Joey Wentz. The Braves boast one of the top farm systems in all of baseball, so they could put a compelling trade package together.
As talks for Machado accelerate in July, don’t be surprised if at least one of these two teams gets involved. Landing a player of Machado’s caliber and sliding him at third base could swing the division in Atlanta or Philadelphia’s favor.