Cubs Reportedly Reached Out to Orioles on Manny Machado, But *Not* to Start Talking Trade Yet

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Cubs Reportedly Reached Out to Orioles on Manny Machado, But *Not* to Start Talking Trade Yet

Chicago Cubs

Before you shoot the messenger, let me say up front: a report out of Baltimore (not Chicago, and not national) is providing some different context for the Manny Machado rumors, and I think it’s important to note, especially after earlier rumors that Machado was already the Cubs’ top Trade Deadline target. I’m not going any further than that.

MASN Sports in Baltimore reports that “the Cubs contacted [Orioles GM Dan] Duquette to express interest [in Machado] with an eye toward the non-waiver deadline.”

In other words, the report here is that, yes, the Cubs have affirmatively reached out on Machado (hence that swirl of Machado-Cubs rumors earlier this month), but it’s with *future* discussions in mind, and indeed, the report adds that “specific players haven’t been discussed.” The Cubs – the implication is – want to be in the loop.

So when you hear about Theo Epstein going out of his way to squash specific, current Addison Russell trade rumors? That ain’t bogus. That’s completely consistent with this report out of Baltimore.

But what about the rumors generally? Is this report flying in the face of everything we’ve heard? Everything Theo Epstein has explicitly said?

Well, once again, no. In fact, it’s pretty much right in line with it, given that Epstein called any rumors that talks were going on now “fantasy land.”

Epstein went on later to tell the AP, “The simple way to put it is there have been a lot of trade rumors about the Cubs, and there’s essentially zero trade talks. It’s my job to clarify there’s nothing going on right now.”

The talks aren’t going on right now. It’s May. I 100% believe Epstein is being forthright on that front.

How you square this new Baltimore report is that *maybe* talks will happen as the deadline gets closer – the Cubs appear to be preliminarily interested – and this report indicates that the Cubs wanted to send out an indication that, hey, you know, maybe we should talk in a couple months. Don’t lose our phone number. That kind of thing.

Among other reasons why I like that approach: it just gives Addison Russell more time to show what he can and cannot be this season at the plate.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.