Heyman says that some people around the league feel the Cubs are “perhaps the most logical landing spot” if the Orioles, who have struggled out of the gate, are ”really willing to deal” Machado by the trade deadline. This news comes on the heels of a report that the White Sox are likely to pursue Machado when he becomes a free agent after this season.
But, if the Orioles do try to sell Machado, Heyman says that “one rival executive suggested that the Cubs could send starting shortstop Addison Russell as part of a package” deal. That way, the Orioles get at least a solid player who is under control through 2021 and the Cubs get one of the best players in the game.
Outside of a 259/.310/.471 slash line last year, the 25-year-old Machado has hit over 30 home runs in each of the last three seasons and driven in over 90 runs in each of the last two campaigns. This year, Machado has swung the bat incredibly well, slashing .356/.440/.693 with nine homers and 20 RBI in 26 games.
The biggest issue, though, is whether or not the Orioles actually decide to make a trade — something they have “rarely” done, according to Heyman. Baltimore owner Peter Angelos has permitted a selloff just once since his first season as owner in 1993—and that was all the way back in 2000.
Even if the O’s do elect to trade Machado, the Cubs would have some stiff competition. The Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Indians, Cardinals and Phillies were among the reported teams that tried to acquire Machado during the offseason.