July 16, 2018
As baseball fans woke up Monday morning, ready for Major League Baseball's week-long All-Star Break to kick off, they were treated to some pretty substantial news on the Manny Machado sweepstakes. A trade is reportedly on the horizon:
Manny Machado will represent the #Orioles in the All Star Game….but he is expected to be traded before the regular season resumes later in the week according to sources involved in the trade discussions.— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenGM) July 16, 2018
And a warning to any Philadelphia sportswriter looking to spend this week on vacation:
“I would just say I don’t think the people that cover the Phillies will be laying on the beach Wednesday or Thursday” - @jaysonst on the Phillies— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) July 16, 2018
It sounds like the Phillies are more or less on the precipice of trading for Machado. According to several sources, notably MLB.com's Paul Morosi, the Phils are one of the two top teams in the hunt, alongside the Dodgers. The Brewers also could be a sleeper team to land the All-Star infielder.
The Phils have seen Baltimore scouts ramp up their homework, with Adonis Medina — the No. 2 prospect in the Phillies farm system likely the centerpiece of a trade. Other prospects being scouted long and hard include Franklyn Kilome (No. 7 prospect), outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz (No. 5 prospect) and infielder Arquimedes Gamboa (No. 8).
For more on those players check out our most recent Phillies prospect watch.
The Phillies, according to other reports, are more willing to include Medina than other squads are their top available prospect. Philadelphia also has no shortage of cash — they have the eighth lowest payroll in baseball (even after signing Jake Arrieta to a three-year, $75 million deal). They will be happy to take on whatever portion of his remaining contract they need to — as well as eager to negotiate an extension to keep Machado a Phillie past the fall.
Philadelphia is also among the worst hitting teams in MLB despite being in first place in the NL East. Acquiring Machado would give them a new clubhouse leader in batting average, home runs, RBI, on base percentage and more:
The aforementioned reports and tweets insinuate that the Phillies could have Machado batting third when they are back on the field, at home against the Padres Friday when the season resumes. And if they are beaten out by the Dodgers, Brewers or even Yankees they'll have to scramble to find some other bat to help them protect their slim division lead.
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