Is Manny Machado Out of Baltimore?

Three-time All Star Baltimore Orioles 3B/SS Manny Machado is having another banner year for a 13-28 5th place team 15 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox at the quarter turn of this season. Given that he was put on the trade block last post season and reportedly moved from it when there were no good offers for him, the searing question is whether he will be traded in season. Orioles Executive Vice President Dan Duquette has said that he is evaluating the team’s needs in deciding what to do with Machado.

He is like the mechanic in the old Fram air filter commercials; he can either be paid now or later. If he is to be traded, he will need to decide whether to sign an extension. If he completes the season with the Orioles, there is going to be a stellar free agent market including Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson, Charlie Blackmon, Adam Jones and others. His probable $400 million plus asking price is going to require a Brinks armored truck.

Over the last three seasons, he has averaged 34 doubles and 35 home runs. Thus far this season, Machado is showing his worth with these gaudy stats: .350 batting average, 13 home runs, 38 runs batted in and, over the last week, an .889 slugging percentage and four home runs in the last 11 at bats. He is in rare company with Ken Griffey, Jr., and Alex Rodriguez as players under 26 years of age with eight grand slam home runs.

Teams who are rumored to be in the hunt for his services in no particular order include the Los Angeles Dodgers (lost SS Corey Seager to a season-ending injury), Chicago White Sox and the St Louis Cardinals.

The reality is that the Orioles are not going to be able to keep Machado and would do well to trade him to get much needed rotation help. Then, they can begin the rebuilding process in earnest. Baltimore fans: begin the farewells. Manny is not going to be with you much longer.

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