The Manny Machado trade chase is entering the home stretch. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Orioles have a deal in place with an unknown team and are now going through the medicals and paperwork portion of a trade. As we all know from as recently as last year’s trade deadline, when the Orioles and medical information get involved, things can still change, but it’s a big deal that the Orioles are so close to making the big deal.
Coming down to the line, the question of where Machado would be dealt seemed to be between the Phillies and the Dodgers. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal decisively answered the question on Tuesday evening, reporting that the Orioles are expected to trade Machado to the Dodgers. This was based on information from other teams who had previously been interested in Machado.
The Dodgers as a destination was a swerve from just 24 hours previously. On Monday night, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi suggested the Phillies as the most likely team to get Machado because of an apparent willingness to include their #2 pitching prospect, Adonis Medina. The connection of the former Orioles executives who drafted Machado in Baltimore now in charge in Philadelphia is mentioned regularly.
By Tuesday morning, Jon Heyman reported that the Dodgers “appear to be the leader” in the Machado chase as it comes down to the wire. Orioles fans can hope that the about face was the result of Dan Duquette using the fact that he has an in-demand player on the market to generate a better trade return that will help the team in the future.
Barring some bizarre twist, it seems like it’s essentially all but settled that Tuesday night’s All-Star Game will be the last one that Machado plays in an Orioles uniform and that he has already played his final regular season game with the Orioles. He may even play in the game with a deal secretly already being concluded.
Baltimore-based reporters like The Baltimore Sun’s Eduardo Encina reported on the O’s expectation that a deal will be done before the season resumes. At this point, it seems that there is no benefit to waiting much beyond Tuesday night.
According to Heyman, one wrinkle that may have been left to sort out about the Dodgers as a possible trade partner is that Los Angeles does not want to get over the luxury tax. Potentially, that could mean a “high-priced vet” to balance out the money for them. Infielder Logan Forsythe, making $9 million this season in the last year of his contract while batting .208/.270/.301, would seem to fit the bill of dead money the Dodgers might like to shed.
The Orioles should take on whatever money they need to take on, whether it’s eating someone else’s contract or paying off some of the remaining money of Machado’s deal, if it gets them better young players in return. It’s not clear whether they will do any such thing.
With the Dodgers and Phillies in mind, if you’re looking to know a bit more about some of the prospects the O’s could be asking for and getting back, check out my survey of each team’s system: Phillies farm system outlook, Dodgers farm system outlook.
That the time would come to say good-bye to Machado as an Oriole has been apparent for at least a couple of years now. The only question has always been when. Now we know that “when” is within the next 72 hours and possibly sooner than that. I’m not ready for it yet, but I’m excited (and nervous) to find out what the O’s can do with this trade to help build the next good Orioles team.