The Boston Red Sox enter play on Wednesday with the best record in baseball at 64-29, but that doesn't mean president of baseball operations - Dave Dombrowski - is content with this roster.
According to Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun, the Red Sox have reached out to the Baltimore Orioles regarding a trade for shortstop Manny Machado, the biggest name available on the market.
Schmuck added that the AL East rival New York Yankees are also interested in acquiring Machado. That being said, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports recently reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers are the frontrunners for Machado, and that the Orioles have had scouts looking closely at L.A.'s farm system.
The Red Sox own two of the league's elite sluggers in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, so adding Machado would make that vaunted lineup even more dangerous. However, a trade for Machado is unlikely in more ways than one.
For starters, the Red Sox have completely gutted their farm system under Dombrowski - surrendering elite prospects for All-Star pitchers Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel, among other players.
Also, there was an incident in 2017 where Sale hit Machado with a pitch, which caused the Orioles slugger to go on a rant against the Red Sox, saying he lost all respect for them. Would Machado really accept a trade to a team that he had a bad history with? That remains to be seen.
The Orioles are among the worst teams in baseball this year, and their budget constraints won't allow the front office to out-bid other clubs for Machado's services this winter. As such, they have no choice but to trade Machado. It would land them several elite prospects that could reshape the organization in the future, after all.
Every playoff contender has an incentive to go for Machado, but only one of them will be lucky. It's going to be a very interesting next three weeks as we await the news of Machado's landing spot.