LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - I’ve been told that it’s “highly unlikely” that the Orioles do anything with Manny Machado tonight or later this weekend besides continuing to check on trade offers, though the situation is fluid and everything can change with a single phone call.
The Diamondbacks have doubled back to the Orioles after prior surface talks, according to a source, and seem to be more interested. The White Sox, Cardinals and Yankees are included among the clubs still in play, though the latter again will be a tough sell to ownership.
The Yankees aren’t eliminated from consideration, especially if they’d be willing to include top prospect Gleyber Torres, but the preference is to avoid putting Machado in pinstripes. Free agency is the more likely vehicle to deposit Machado in the Bronx following the 2018 season.
The Cardinals no longer can offer pitcher Sandy Alcantara, one of the prospects that the Orioles desired, because he was included in the package that went to the Marlins for outfielder Marcell Ozuna. The Orioles want pitcher Jordan Hicks, a right-hander with a fastball that approaches 100 mph, according to a source.
Cardinals catcher Carson Kelly could be included in a deal for Machado. His name has been discussed. But again, nothing is imminent.
The White Sox may have adjusted their most recent proposal, which didn’t include a top five prospect, according to another source. It’s no secret that the Orioles want pitchers Lucas Giolito and MIchael Kopech and the White Sox are reluctant to part with them.
Teams that are engaging in trade talks also are trying to figure out how they would replace the departed players. It’s just one of the elements at work here.
I’ve been told again that the Orioles didn’t arrive at the Winter Meetings determined to trade Machado. They weren’t in holiday shopping mode, but the process gained momentum once clubs began to make their pitches and others stepped forward.
And yes, Machado wants to play shortstop. This was reported prior to the meetings. The Orioles knew about it through conversations involving manager Buck Showalter late in the season, and he’s likely to go back to his original position if they don’t trade him.
The ripple effect would include finding another third baseman with no obvious replacements in the organization.