Gail Burton/Associated Press
Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado may be the next trade domino to fall at Major League Baseball’s winter meetings.
On Wednesday, Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reported the Orioles were making “good progress” on potentially moving Machado in a swap. Ghiroli noted more than five teams have demonstrated some interest in the 25-year-old slugger.
That there would be a number of teams interested in landing Machado comes as no surprise considering his age, fielding ability and power at the plate.
He has already been to three All-Star games in the early portion of his career and hit 35 home runs in 2015, 37 in 2016 and 33 in 2017. He is also responsible for 81 total defensive runs saved above average at third base in his career, per FanGraphs, and has two Gold Gloves on his resume.
One hesitation would be his contract status, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported Tuesday that Baltimore “might not meet” its desired return package of two young, controllable starting pitchers because Machado is only under control for another season.
Rosenthal also pointed out Machado prefers to play shortstop over third base moving forward, so having his slick fielding on the hot corner may not be a guarantee in a potential trade.
Still, Machado is one of the best young players in baseball and would immediately bolster the World Series chances of any team that landed him. He also figures to net a solid return for the Orioles—even if it isn’t the exact package they are looking for—which could accelerate a rebuild in the difficult American League East.