Multiple reports say that the Orioles and the Phillies have agreed to a "handshake" deal which would send Manny Machado to the Philadelphia on Wednesday morning. Making the All-Star Game the last time we'll ever see Machado don the orange and black.
Jason Stark, the senior baseball writer for The Athletic, appeared on Philadelphia's 97.5 The Fanatic's Monday morning show to discuss the likelihood that Machado is traded to the Phillies. Stark said that Machado has played his last game and that an unknown team made a handshake agreement with the O's.
Monday afternoon rolled around and Barstool sports blogger Eroc RDT confirmed that the Phillies where the "known team" who made the handshake agreement with the Orioles.
And Eroc is sticking to his guns as he later tweeted saying Machado will go to the Phillies.
As I said on @BarstoolRadio earlier, Manny Machado will be traded to the Phillies Wednesday morning, per multiple sources.— Eroc RDT (@RDTBarstool) July 16, 2018
If these multiple reports are true, Machado may have just punched his ticket to the postseason as he's latched on to a surprise contender this season. Many analysts believed that the Phillies were still one or two more years away from breaking out of their rebuild mode, but solid pitching and some timely hitting have given the Phillies an edge over the Nationals and Braves in the NL East.
The Phillies also present a perfect opportunity for Machado to continue to play at shortstop. Phillies rookie Scott Kingery has manned the six-hole since J.P. Crawford went down with a broken left hand in June.
Phillies manager Gabe Kapler will have a "good problem" with his jam-packed infield assuming the Phillies don't deal Cesar Hernadez or Maikel Franco in the Machado deal. He'll need to find a way to rotate Kingery in the lineup at either third base or second base.
If this deal has been sealed with a handshake already, then the Phillies front office should be hard at work trying to figure out how they can sign Machado to a long-term deal. There is no way the Phillies—or any team for that matter—would give up valuable prospects for a guy they know is about to test free agency at the end of the season.
Unless of course, they have the money to sign Machado — which the Phillies certainly do.
Their chances improve greatly if they can show Machado the money and show him that Philadelphia is a town where he will win championships in the near future.