The likelihood of a Manny Machado trade this summer has increased tenfold after John Heyman of FanRag Sports revealed in his latest “Inside Baseball” article about the Baltimore Orioles’ diminishing hope of extending their All-Star infielder.
According to Heyman, it seems the Orioles front office has already resigned to the fact that they can no longer lock up their best player. The baseball insider disclosed that Baltimore did attempt to keep Machado in the fold in previous years, but feel just $10 million short of striking an extension deal.
Now, Baltimore is facing the possibility of letting their most valuable player walk away without getting any compensation after this season. Worse, Heyman is reporting that Machado isn’t the only Orioles star whose days in Baltimore are numbered because veteran slugger Adam Jones and All-Star relief pitcher Zach Britton might be on their way out as well.
“The Orioles appear to have given up hope of extending stars Manny Machado, who we wrote about last week and has 13 potential landing spots, Adam Jones and Zach Britton. Brad Brach also is a free agent after the year.”
The Yankees are obviously one of those 13 teams that will be lining up for Machado’s service in free agency. However, with the competition for the 25-year-old infielder expected to be brutal, it won’t be surprising if general manager Brian Cashman comes up with a tactical, pre-emptive move around the trade deadline.
Following their blockbuster acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton last winter, Cashman completed several transactions to cut the Yankees total payroll below $170 million, according to Spotrac. The general belief is Cashman saved up money for another huge transaction down the road.
As every baseball fans know, the upcoming free agency class will be loaded with heavy talents across different positions. In a separate article by Heyman on FanRag Sports, he put Washington Nationals’ slugger Bryce Harper, Los Angeles Dodgers’ hurler Clayton Kershaw, and Machado together in tier 1 of soon-to-be free agents or players eligible for a contract valued at $200 million or more.
The tax reset certainly gives the Yankees some cap flexibility to maneuver for Machado either through free agency or a trade. Again, sending a competitive package to Baltimore won’t be much of a problem since the Yanks have one of the deepest farm systems in the MLB.
Of course, New York’s pursuit of Machado is set to face some resistance from the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, and AL East rivals, the Boston Red Sox. It’s just a matter of time before Machado officially becomes available in the trade market. When that happens, everybody expects the Yankees to go all in.