Manny Machado Trade Rumors: Orioles' Talks Regarding Star 'Accelerating'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2018

Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado pauses between innings during a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Gail Burton/Associated Press

Trade talks involving Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado have reportedly "accelerated" as the MLB non-waiver trade deadline looms July 31.

On Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the O's have amplified their efforts to deal the impending free agent and hope moving him about a month before the deadline could yield a greater return.

Machado is on pace for a career-best offensive season as he prepares to hit the open market.

The 25-year-old Florida native has posted a .310/.377/.564 triple-slash line with 21 home runs and five stolen bases through 82 appearances. His .941 OPS is 65 points higher than his previous high in 2016.

"I go out there and play baseball. I'm not getting distracted by any of this," he told reporters in May. "All these talks, rumors, they're all rumors and talks. At the end of the day I got to go out there and perform and win games for this ballclub. We're trying to make a push for things and we're a little behind, but we've got to keep pushing forward."

The Orioles own baseball's worst record at 24-59, giving the front office little incentive to keep the infielder, who's spent most of his career at third base, without an extension in place.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the Los Angeles Dodgers are viewed as the favorite to land Machado in a blockbuster trade. The Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers are among the other contenders.

The New York Yankees are expected to make a strong push to sign him in free agency during the winter, with the Philadelphia Phillies providing competition, per Nightengale.

In a Machado trade, Baltimore will likely look to significantly restock a prospect group that was ranked 24th by MiLB.com before the season.

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