Manny Machado Reportedly Cardinals Trade Target

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 12, 2017

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 24:  Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles plays third base against the Tampa Bay Rays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 24, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
G Fiume/Getty Images

The St. Louis Cardinals are reportedly among the MLB clubs showing trade interest in Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado.

On Tuesday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Cards are a potential Machado suitor, but the writer noted it's unclear whether O's owner Peter Angelos will give the front office a green light to deal him.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported earlier Tuesday the Orioles are seeking "two young, controllable starting pitchers" in exchange for the 25-year-old slugger, who prefers to make a full-time transition from third base to shortstop in the final year of his contract.

Machado is coming off a 2017 campaign where he hit 33 home runs, the third straight season where he tallied more than 30. His .259 batting average was the lowest mark of his career, however, and his .310 on-base percentage reached its lowest point since his debut in 2012.

Although he's played a lion's share of his games at third base, the Florida native's offensive output would be more valuable at shortstop. That's likely why he'd prefer to make a switch to a position he's played just 52 games in at the major league level before possibly hitting free agency next winter.

Meanwhile, the lack of contractual control could limit the Orioles' leverage in trade talks since big-spending teams can wait until he hits free agency to make their pitch.

The Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees were listed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports as other interested teams last week. It's unclear whether the Yankees are still in the mix after acquiring Giancarlo Stanton from the Miami Marlins, though.

Machado hasn't spoken much publicly about his future plans.

"I don't really think about it," he told reporters in April. "I try to stay in the moment throughout everything, because I've learned in the past that things can change quickly and life shouldn't be taken for granted. You just have to live in the moment, see what happens now, and whatever happens in that situation I'll be blessed either way."

In St. Louis, he'd be in line to take over the starting shortstop role from Paul DeJong and slide right into the middle of the lineup alongside the likes of Dexter Fowler and Yadier Molina.