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July 12, 2018

Phillies rumor round up: Manny Machado latest, Maikel Franco draws interest

Only a few baseball games remain before MLB's All-Star break, and with the Phillies in contention for the first time in more than half a decade the trade rumors continue to swirl.

Here's a brief look in at the latest:

Manny Machado still a possibility

According to nearly every source pontificating on the subject, the Phillies are in the second tier of teams vying for the Orioles star infielder. The Yankees reportedly made an offer already — one that did not include their stud prospect Justus Sheffield — and the Orioles will be surely hesitant to move Machado to a division rival (the Red Sox included). This leaves the Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers, Brewers and Diamondbacks as the teams with the most interest. 

Another report says seven teams made offers for Machado including the Phillies. For the record, Heyman handicaps the Phillies with 7-1 odds at getting Machado, the fourth best (behind New York, L.A. and Milwaukee).

Another Oriole on the radar

NBCSP's Jim Salisbury confirms another Baltimore player is in the Phillies' sights — reliever Zach Britton. He has pitched 11 scoreless appearances in 13 since returning from injury in June and he has an expiring contract. He could be a valuable piece in the back end of the Phillies volatile bullpen down the stretch of the season.

Moving Maikel?

There has been what seems to be a long-standing love-hate relationship between the Phillies and Maikel Franco. He's been inconsistent and unreliable but has shown flashes of brilliance. He's been on a tear of late — he had a .429 batting average over his last seven games prior to Wednesday after hitting a three-run homer in a win Tuesday. He's hit nearly everywhere in the line up and many suggest he'd be better off with a change of scenery.

Reports come in from Ken Rosenthal and others that the Padres and a few other teams. Fancred's Jon Heyman wrote Thursday: "Teams are showing interest in third baseman Maikel Franco, who hasn’t reached his potential yet … some believe they’d be willing to deal rookie shortstop J.P. Crawford, who has a keen batting eye but other questions. One scout wondered, “I’m not sure he’s going to hit enough.”

Roster moves

The Phillies activated Vince Velasquez in Wednesday's extra innings loss to the Mets — making them move Enyel De Los Santos back to the minors (for now) after one big league start. They also picked up the contract of outfielder Trevor Plouffe, who was once a starting caliber hitter for the Twins. He hit just .182 last year and will be sent to Triple-A — if he can recover his hitting stoke (at age 32) he may be a helpful bat in the fall.

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