Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado may be the best player who will get traded this summer.
The 25-year-old star has been posting MVP numbers this season with a .311 batting average, .944 OPS, 21 home runs, and 59 RBI. So it's no wonder why so many teams have been checking in with the Orioles about his availability via trade this summer.
But one team in particular has stood out among the crowd of franchises clamoring to acquire Machado, according to reports. And, surprisingly, that team is the Cleveland Indians.
Sources: Manny Machado trade conversations between #DBacks and #Orioles have been “consistent.” @Ken_Rosenthal reported Arizona and Cleveland might be the most motivated suitors in Machado talks. @MLBNetwork @MLB— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 4, 2018
The Indians don't look like an amazing fit at first glance. They already have superstar Francisco Lindor manning shortstop, so Machado wouldn't be able to play his favored position in Cleveland.
However, if the Indians do acquire him, Machado would probably get pushed over to third base, a position he has played at a Gold-Glove level in the past. Indians star Jose Ramirez would then move over to second base, allowing Cleveland to bench Jason Kipnis. Kipnis has been the Indians' biggest weakness this season, as his .214 batting average, .293 OBP, and .338 slugging percentage have really been a drain on Cleveland's offense.
From Jim Duquette: the #Indians are one of ~5 teams in on #Orioles SS/3B Manny Machado. #RallyTogether— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) June 29, 2018
But is that the best use of their resources at the trade deadline?@Jim_Duquette and @JimBowdenGM on why/how/if Cleveland should make the move: pic.twitter.com/mcUXP21jYy
Trading for Machado would assuredly help Cleveland secure their place atop a weak NL Central and give them a fighting chance against the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the juggernauts of the AL this year, in the postseason.
If the Indians could convince Machado to stay in Cleveland after his contract expires following this season would remain to be seen.