MLB Network's Jon Morosi reported earlier Wednesday that the Orioles would be open to dealing Machado if the Yankees included left-handed starting pitcher Justus Sheffield in the trade. Morosi added, however, the Yankees may be hesitant to give up the 22-year-old prospect.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Monday the Yankees had strengthened their pursuit of Machado but that the Orioles may not be keen on the idea of trading him to a team in the American League East.
Rosenthal added "the Yankees' farm system likely is strong enough to trump any club's offer," which could tip the scales in their favor.
New York is 3.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the division, so Machado could be the piece that helps the team avoid the AL wild-card playoff.
One could also argue the Yankees would pay a steep price for a player who may not make them demonstrably better than they already are. According to FanGraphs, the Yankees are already second in weighted on-base average (.339) and tied for second in weighted runs created plus (115).
The Yankees already have an elite offense, so adding another proven slugger doesn't change much, and Machado doesn't address the team's biggest need: starting pitching.
Aside from that, New York could feasibly wait and sign Machado in free agency for a fraction of what it would have to surrender to get him now. USA Today's Bob Nightengale has told those close to him the Yankees are "easily his first choice."
MLB's non-waiver trade deadline is July 31. Based on how many teams are in the hunt for Machado, the Orioles may let the Yankees and others sweat until the very last minute before agreeing to a deal.