Only 17 days remain before the non-waiver trade deadline of 2018 and rumors of where Manny Machado will be traded are growing by the day. Multiple postseason contenders are interested acquiring the talented slugger from the Orioles.
Among the teams most interested in Machado are the Philadelphia Phillies. According to more than one report, the Orioles and Phillies are making progress in their reported trade talks. Of course, a trade being imminent is far from the case, it only means the two clubs are continuing to see if a deal could be made.
The Phillies are currently 53-40 on the season with a lead of 1 ½ games in the National League East. J.P. Crawford, the team’s starting shortstop, is currently on the disabled list. Prior to being injured, Crawford was not producing very well at .194/.311/.332 in 34 games played.
Of course, Machado on the other hand is one of the top offensive players in Major League Baseball. The Orioles shortstop has hitting .313/.385/.572 with 23 homers, 64 RBI, 21 doubles, and his lowest strikeout rate of his career at 12.7%.
If the Phillies were able to acquire Machado he would be a huge upgrade for them at shortstop. Machado could shift the NL East’s balance of power and give the Phillies a big edge over the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals during the final two months of the regular season.
The Phillies are expected to be one of Machado’s biggest pursuers during the offseason when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Therefore, some have said the Phillies should just wait and sign Machado during the winter and not trade away prospects for him now.
However, doing that will not help the team win this season and signing him to a long-term deal is not guaranteed as he will have many suitors when November arrives.
By trading now to acquire Machado, the Phillies improve their chances to win the NL East this season or at least earn a wildcard berth in the postseason and both the team and Machado can evaluate things prior to free agency if he plays the final few months of the season with them.
The Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees are amongst the many clubs interested in signing Machado. The Phillies farm system is deep and the team has cash to spend. That puts them in one of the better positions amongst other teams to acquire the talented Machado.