Baltimore Orioles shortstpo Manny Machado is this year's most coveted trade target, and the NL-West leading Arizona Diamondbacks appear to be keen on landing the perennial superstar.
Jon Morosi of Fox Sports and MLB Network reported that the D-Backs have had discussions with the Orioles about Machado:
Sources: #DBacks, #Orioles have been in contact about a possible Manny Machado trade this season. Dialogue remains open between the clubs. This is viewed as due diligence on Arizona’s part as the team’s needs become clear. @MLB @MLBNetwork— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) June 19, 2018
Arizona has slipped significantly over the past month, and the Los Angeles Dodgers have been surging and entered play on Wednesday just 1.5 out of first in the NL West. Without a doubt, the Diamondbacks need a player like Machado if they want to retain their hold on the division.
The 25-year-old Machado is part of a dream free agent class that is also set to include Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Craig Kimbrel and others. Machado's Orioles are baseball's worst team with a 20-51 record as of Wednesday afternoon, and there's no way they'll be able to pay him more than other interested suitors on the free agent market.
Machado had a down year in 2017, but he's bounced back in 2018 with 18 home runs, 53 RBI, a .306 batting average and an OPS of .932. Having Machado join an Arizona team that already features elite slugger Paul Goldschmidt and contact hitter David Peralta would arguably make this squad the best in the NL.
But the Diamondbacks are by no means a guarantee to land Machado. Almost all playoff contenders will be eyeing on his services, and the New York Yankees have more to offer when it comes to prospects. They've been linked to Machado for a while, and he'd be a perfect fit in The Bronx.
The 2018 MLB trade deadline is over a month away, and there is still plenty of time for teams to present their offers to the Orioles. Whether or not the Diamondbacks can offer the best package remains to be seen.