Orioles’ shortstop Manny Machado is reportedly Cubs main target at the deadline
According to a report from Jon Heyman, the Cubs “will take a look at acquiring superstar Manny Machado” before the July 31 trade deadline. Heyman is also hearing that Machado is “the Cubs’ main target” as the front office looks to improve the roster.
The Cubs are one of many teams believed to be interested in Machado, who returned to shortstop this year and is having an excellent start to a difficult season for the Orioles.
The Cubs reportedly talked to the Orioles about Machado in the off-season. And those talks included Addison Russell and Mike Montgomery going to Baltimore as part of a package of players for Machado.
Manny Machado is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. He has said publicly he plans to test the market.
Theo Epstein recently said the Cubs did not plan on paying what it would cost to acquire a rental player this season. Epstein explained the front office has to focus on building up a depleted farm system that has been used to win a World Series Championship, back-to-back NL Central titles and put a team on the field that has appeared in three straight National League Championship Series.
Heyman explained the Cubs “are one of nine teams to talk to the Orioles about Machado over the winter.” The Phillies, Cardinals, White Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Diamondbacks were the other eight teams.
If the Cubs were to trade for Machado, Addison Russell would likely be part of the package of players to acquire him.
Machado does not have the value that he did in the off-season. Teams acquiring Machado during the season would not be able to make a qualifying offer. In other words, the acquiring team would not receive any compensation for losing Machado if he signed with another team. Front offices must take that into consideration in talks with the difficult Orioles’ management team and ownership.
Machado is tearing it up at the plate. Machado is only 25 years old (turns 26 on July 6) and is hitting .342/.422/.652 with 11 doubles and 13 home runs for a 1.074 OPS. In 42 games, he has 23 walks and has struck out 23 times.
Machado figures to break the bank in free agency this off-season.
The cost, from the Cubs’ standpoint, would appear to start with Addison Russell.
Russell is under team control through the 2021 season. Russell is hitting .250/.336/.367 with 10 doubles, one triple and one home run for a .703 OPS this year in 38 games. While is overall line, enter play Thursday night, is not what was expected at the beginning of the season, he is batting .297/.409/.514 with five doubles and a home run for a .923 OPS over his last 10 games … and .270/.329/.419 with a .748 OPS over his last 22 games.