With the All Star break fast approaching, that means the trade deadline is somehow just a short distance away. One of the top targets in the trade market has been and will seemingly always be Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado.
Even though there were reports of the Philadelphia Phillies "moving on" from Machado weeks ago, that doesn't appear to be the case in real time.
According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Phillies are still targeting Machado, but they have backup options in case they ultimately cannot land him (prior to free agency, that is).
machado is still the top target for Phillies (they had a scout with o's last night) but they are targeting other infielders as backup plans— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 10, 2018
The tricky case with Machado is he would essentially be a three-month rental, as he fully intends to hit free agency this winter. On top of that, the Orioles have been asking for a hefty price for the four-time All Star, not fully acknowledging his current value.
In regards to targeting other infielders, it is a wise move, especially with reports of the New York Yankees "ramping up their pursuit" of Machado on Monday. Not only that, but teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers have emerged as "serious contenders" for the star shortstop.
Source says Phillies have moved on from Machado for now, as Orioles’ asking price is too high. My colleague @ToddZolecki reported yesterday that the Phillies were “considered longshots” for Machado.— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) July 6, 2018
One of those backup plans for Philadelphia appear to be Whit Merrifield of the Kansas City Royals, as reports indicate the team is interested in the infielder.
In the eyes of the Phillies, there is no harm in trying to acquire a perennial game-changer such as Machado. However, if they can't land him, they have fall back options.
Of course, they can always try to add him aga this winter.