Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Orioles Have Received Calls on Star 3B

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 1: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles walks back to the dugout after striking out during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on October 1, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)
Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles have "received a couple calls of inquiry" regarding star third baseman Manny Machado, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Heyman noted that the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies, among other teams, are expected to have interest in Machado when he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season.

Heyman added: "Behind the scenes the Orioles are also discussing whether to try to make a play to keep Machado long-term. He could be expected to receive a contract in the range of Giancarlo Stanton's record $325 million deal as a free agent, and other teams believe that might be too steep for the Orioles, but that doesn't mean they won't try."

Heyman also said Machado could intrigue teams as a shortstop given his versatility and ability in the field, while noting there has been interest around the league in closer Zach Britton as well.

Machado, 25, hit just .259 in 2017 but added 33 homers and 95 RBI, his third straight year with at least 30 home runs and 85 RBI. It wasn't the best season for the two-time Gold Glove winner and three-time All-Star, though Machado remains one of baseball's brightest young stars.

He also could be an excellent consolation prize for teams that don't win the Stanton sweepstakes this winter, though his availability will be contingent on whether the Orioles feel they can keep him long-term and are willing to break the bank to do so.

The 2018-19 free-agent class has the potential to be absurd, with players like Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper, Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson potentially hitting free agency, among others. Machado is one of the crown jewels of that group, and the bidding war for his services could drive his price up substantially.

If the Orioles are uninterested in that sort of investment, trading him this offseason and maximizing their return makes plenty of sense.