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Trade rumor grade: Phillies have Manny Machado at the top of their list

Could a deal get done?

New York Yankees v Washington Nationals - Game One Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Another day, another mountain of Manny Machado rumors to sort through. We’ve covered the possibility of him going to the Dodgers, Brewers, and Yankees so far, but the Phillies have also been in play for a few weeks not and haven’t faded in their interest of the Orioles’ shortstop.

The rumor

Jon Heyman reports that despite multiple teams being in on Machado, he is still at the top of the list for the Phillies at the trade deadline. Heyman also reports the Phillies have other options in mind just in case a Machado trade doesn’t pan out, which is smart considering they may be yet another example of a team where it would make more sense to go after him in free agency. Let’s break it down.

Why it would make sense for the Orioles to trade Machado to the Phillies

Once again, let’s do a quick recap of why the Orioles are trading Machado in the first place. Which is obvious for many, but it’s always nice to have a basis here.

In short, because this is their last shot to end Machado’s time in Baltimore with any sort of positive table-setting for their future. No matter how many times Machado insists he’s only focusing on the Orioles this season, it’s pretty clear he’ll be gone in free agency. So it’s up to Baltimore to not mess this up and get some prospects in return before they’re left with nothing to show for him leaving. That’s the case for any team that wants Machado though.

With a potential Phillies deal, the Orioles could absolutely ask for the level of prospects they are looking for while also being able to send him to a National League team as they are hoping to do. The Orioles were reportedly eyeing top Philadelphia pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez during the offseason, as well as Scott Kingery. There’s also the possibility of a few lower-ranked prospects with a player on the Major League roster (Maikel Franco?) getting added in to sweeten the pot.

While Machado doesn’t have a no-trade clause, so no real control over where he goes or whether that team would keep him at shortstop for the next few months, he could bump Scott Kingery from his spot at short for the time being with minimal issues for the Phillies’ lineup (if Kingery isn’t part of the trade, that is.)

Why the Phillies would trade for Manny Machado

The Orioles could certainly ask for some top prospects from the Phillies, but it’s less apparent whether they’d actually get those pieces back. Which has been the wall Baltimore is running into during every conversation, it seems.

As of now, it looks like Machado would consider the Phillies in free agency when the time comes to make that decision. They’re a young team with a bright future and a good core which he could contribute to immediately, and they have a spot for him at short. Philadelphia is set up for the future, and to make a major free agent signing like this one.

So it doesn’t really make sense for them to give up promising, valuable young pieces like Kingery or Sanchez or other prospects for a three month rental when they have a reasonable shot of getting Machado this winter for just the money it will take to land him. That, plus the knowledge that they already have a list of “backups” for other offensive help, means that the Phillies know that’s the better move too.

Rumor grade

C-. Machado and the Phillies make a lot of sense, but a Machado trade to the Phillies doesn’t. Not when they can find help elsewhere at the deadline to keep them atop the division and make a deep run this October. The fit is reasonable, but the logistics for a July move are not.