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MLB trade rumors: Cardinals interested in Manny Machado

With the AL East shaping up to be a two-way race between Boston and New York, the Orioles may be sellers at this year’s Winter Meetings

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Baltimore Orioles Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Orioles seem increasingly intent on dealing superstar third baseman Manny Machado at this year’s Winter Meetings. One team that has emerged as a possible front runner is the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.

Already today, it was reported that Machado would like to switch over from third to shortstop whether in Baltimore or elsewhere, and with the Cardinals trading Aledmys Diaz to the Blue Jays earlier this offseason, there may be an opening which is contingent on whether they move Paul DeJong to second or third base. DeJong played third in high school, and saw some time already at second base in the bigs this year. Machado has some experience at short and would ideally love to increase his versatility on the left side of the infield next season.

Machado would bring an offensive burst to a Cardinals team that was in the middle of the pack in most offensive categories in the National League this year. In 2017, the 25-year-old slashed .259/.310/.471 with 33 bombs and 95 RBIs to go along with 33 doubles.

Nightengale reports that the O’s are now “more inclined” to moving Machado, but the decision ultimately lies in the hands of owner Peter Angelos. The Red Sox and Yankees are shaping up to being the front runners in the AL East, so it may be wise for the Orioles to consider selling their assets to stockpile the youth, especially if they do not believe they cannot resign Machado next winter when he hits free agency.

As for the Cardinals, the club appears to be buyers at the Winter Meetings, as they are also in on Marcell Ozuna among others. The Cards finished 83-79 in 2017, missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season.