With the All-Star break looming after this weekend, it seems unlikely, but not impossible, that we’ll see actual trade activity on Manny Machado in the next few days, even as the rumor mill spins up feverishly. From there, it could be that Machado is this year’s Jose Quintana, traded during the break, just after the All-Star Game.
To that end, the group of suitors continues to move around at the margins, with clear leaders and laggards difficult to sort out, but we kinda know who’s involved:
Standard caveat applies: Trade talks are fluid, and one text or call can change dynamic of discussions.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 13, 2018
Phillies have increased offer for Manny, as @Ken_Rosenthal 1st reported. good idea guys! yanks, dodgers, brewers, backs still in. here's what we wrote yesterday about why the Phils make the most sense. https://t.co/tlO1xZR5xH
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 13, 2018
The latest there squares with earlier reporting that indicated that the Brewers were really holding back on their prospect cache in a Machado trade (which is not necessarily the wrong thing to do). They have a clear and obvious short-term need in the middle infield, though, and in a year when they are leading the entire National League, if now isn’t a time to really go for it, when will be?
I expect the Brewers to upgrade somewhere significantly, but maybe it won’t be Machado. And unless they were going to take a bath in the deal, I’m fine with that.
As for the Phillies, they are the surprise leaders in the NL East, and they, too, should have just as much incentive to really put the pedal down as the Brewers. They may well have multiple needs, though, like the Brewers, so it doesn’t *have* to be Machado.
Wherever Machado lands, if it’s in the NL, it’s going to impact the Cubs. Love it or hate it, the Wild Card race could still become important for the Cubs (who are currently on top of the pack with a game and a half clearance from the Braves, who hold the second spot right now). To the extent the teams at the top of the East or West make big additions this trade season, the entire pack could be lifted up a bit, making the Wild Card race all the more competitive if the Cubs – God forbid – don’t take the NL Central.
Which is another way of saying, while I don’t want to see Machado on the Brewers, I don’t exactly love the idea of him going to the Phillies or Dodgers or Diamondbacks (or Braves, if they want to surprise), either. So, uh, go Yankees?