Matt Klentak says "there's a chance" Phillies will trade for rental piece
J.P. Crawford fractures hand, out 4-to-6 weeks

Phillies Rumors: Club 'highly unlikely' to mortgage future to rent Machado

By Tim Kelly, Sports Talk Philly editor

Between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, Philadelphia Phillies general manager Matt Klentak and Baltimore Orioles general manager Dan Duquette (assuming he's still leading the baseball operations department in more than just his title) will certainly discuss shortstop Manny Machado. All indications are that the two sides are too far apart to expect a deal to be reached, however. 

According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki, while the Phillies have interest in the soon-to-be 26-year-old, they aren't especially keen on the idea of parting with a major package of prospects for Machado, knowing he is still likely to test free-agency: 

Sources told MLB.com in recent weeks that the Phillies are highly unlikely to empty the farm system for a rental like Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. The idea of sending top prospects to Baltimore for two months of Machado, when he is certain to test the free-agent market and he might only guarantee the Phillies a one-game playoff as a NL Wild Card, does not seem like smart business to them.

This is in line with what has been reported in recent weeks on Machado. Jon Heyman of FRS Sports reported earlier this month that while the Phillies had inquired on Machado, they viewed the Orioles asking price to be "too steep." Zolecki added last week that the Phillies aren't the favorites to acquire Machado before the non-waiver trade deadline. 

At this juncture, it's unclear if there is a favorite for Machado. The Boston Red Sox, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, also failed to gain traction with the Orioles in recent trade discussions. Given the uncertain future of the Orioles organization - on the field, in the dugout, in the front-office and in terms of which Angelos is truly in control - it doesn't seem entirely impossible that the Orioles hold onto Machado for the rest of the season. Would it make sense for a team that stands no realistic chance of retaining one of the greatest players in their franchise's history to let him walk in free-agency for nothing more than draft picks? No, but not much does make sense with how the Orioles operate. If we're being honest, they probably should have traded Machado a year or two ago if they hoped for a franchise-altering return. 

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While the Phillies would certainly be a better team with Machado, a few more months without him could come with the silver lining of getting a chance to further examine Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford (although Crawford broke his hand in Tuesday night's loss to the Cardinals). Both of the two would likely be competing for playing time at third base (Kingery could also get looks in right field) if the club signed Machado this offseason to play shortstop. 

Heyman noted last week that the Phillies are willing to accommodate Machado by allowing him to play his natural position of shortstop. A two-time Gold Glove Award winner at third base, Machado has graded out as the 25th best fielder at shortstop in 2018

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