Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the news Tuesday, noting the Orioles want two young, controllable starting pitchers in exchange for Machado.
"The O's might not meet that target with Machado under control for only one more season, but their willingness to trade their best player is a marked departure for an organization that historically has resisted rebuilding and tried to field the best team possible under owner Peter Angelos," Rosenthal wrote.
He also pointed out Machado prefers to play shortstop moving forward instead of his usual third base with free agency looming.
Machado played 380 innings at shortstop in 2016, but he has been brilliant with the glove on the hot corner during his career. According to FanGraphs, the two-time Gold Glover is responsible for 81 total defensive runs saved above average in six seasons at third base.
Still, a young, power-hitting shortstop would be a significant draw on the free-agent market, and Machado is just 25 years old.
The three-time All-Star blasted 35 home runs in 2015, 37 home runs in 2016 and 33 home runs in 2017 as a consistent force in the middle of Baltimore's lineup. He also has a career slash line of .279/.329/.476 and figures to attract plenty of suitors when he does hit free agency.
A trade would at least allow Baltimore to not only receive value for Machado before he potentially leaves but to accelerate a rebuild for a team coming off a 75-87 season and staring at the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees within its own division.
Targeting starting pitching also makes sense considering the Orioles were dead last in the league with a 5.70 ERA from starters in 2017, per ESPN.com.