Outside of a 259/.310/.471 slash line last year, Machado has been one of the best in the game, hitting over 30 home runs in each of the last three seasons and driving in over 90 runs in each of the last two campaigns. The 25-year-old is also a three-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove winner and a two-time top-five finisher in the AL MVP race (2015 and 2016).
So far, the Phillies and the Cardinals are the only known teams to talk with the Orioles about a trade for Machado, who has also expressed he wants to play shortstop. However, a deal would more than likely require a timeframe in which a club needs to Machado to sign an extension. After all, he is a free agent after this upcoming season and is expected to sign a lucrative deal as one of the top players in the next offseason’s loaded free agent class, so the Orioles would not get as much of a return on him if he is just a rental.
The Orioles lack starting pitching and have an underwhelming farm system, so trading Machado could give Dan Duquette and company the opportunity to upgrade both.
However, Baltimore’s asking price is not low. They are reportedly asking for two controllable, young starters in return for Machado as they are seeking as many as three starting pitchers this offseason. It’s a high price, but the star third baseman may receive that kind of interest.