ESPN News Services
The Baltimore Orioles have the structure of a deal in place for Manny Machado and are working through specific aspects of a trade, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney.
As Machado prepares for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game in what could be his final appearance in a Baltimore uniform, the Orioles were going through medical records and other paperwork involved in the transaction, sources told Olney.
It is not yet known which team Machado will be traded to, but the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have been invested in their pursuit of the All-Star shortstop.
Fancred reported earlier Tuesday that the Dodgers had emerged as the leading contender to acquire Machado but also noted that the talks were fluid and identified the Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks as contenders with an “outside chance” to land the four-time All-Star.
MLB.com reported Monday night, however, that Philadelphia was the “most likely destination” for Machado because of the Phillies’ willingness to include pitching prospect Adonis Medina. MASN Sports was first to report Monday that the Orioles were very close to a Machado trade.
As rumors swirled about his imminent departure from the Orioles, Machado addressed the media Monday, acknowledging it would feel different to play for another team.
“The only thing I’ve ever known has been the Orioles organization,” he said. “They drafted me, I came up with them, played with them. So I don’t know anything different.”
Olney reported Sunday that even if the Phillies do not trade for Machado this summer, they would ardently pursue him as a free agent after the season. Philadelphia’s front office is loaded with former Orioles officials who were involved in the drafting and developing of Machado — including president Andy MacPhail, general manager Matt Klentak and assistant GM Ned Rice.
According to Olney, the Phillies prospects being evaluated by the Orioles were Medina, pitcher Franklyn Kilome, outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz and infielder Arquimedes Gamboa.
Machado, 26, was drafted by the Orioles with the No. 3 pick in 2010 and has been a starter in Baltimore since 2012. His contract expires after this season, and the Orioles aren’t in a position to match the offers the four-time All-Star is expected to receive on the open market.
Machado insists he’s not thinking about whether Tuesday night might be his last in Orioles attire.
“No, no. I’m putting it on and I’m going to represent the organization in the right way,” he said Monday. “If it is, it is. If not, I’ll be there on Friday [in Toronto], back with my teammates.”
Machado would be a solid addition to any contender. He converted from third base to shortstop this season and has played the position well enough to easily win the All-Star fan vote at the position.
“People didn’t think I should have made the move in my walk year, but I did. I’m going to the All-Star Game as an Oriole and as a shortstop,” Machado said.
By far the best performer on a last-place team, Machado leads the Orioles in batting average (.315), home runs (24), RBIs (65) and walks (45).
“We’ll see where he ends up in the next week or two,” Milwaukee outfielder Christian Yelich said. “I know we’re one of the teams rumored to be in to get him.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
Photo: John Minchillo/AP Photo