MLB Free Agency Rumors: Padres Pursuing Manny Machado
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

After years of flirting with the idea of becoming sellers at the trade deadline, the Baltimore Orioles once and for all acted on it last season by trading the likes of Zach Britton and Manny Machado.

The trades marked the end of an era as both were original draft picks of the Orioles. And for Machado, it meant playing in the National League for the first time as he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He reveled in joining a team with World Series aspirations and embraced the pressure he fill the void left by Corey Seager undergoing Tommy John surgery months prior. Machado’s tenure with the Dodgers was a bit of a rollercoaster but he went into free agency at worst the second-best player available.

Like Bryce Harper and several others on the open market, Machado has found the process to be slow moving. Expectations that teams would line up to sign him or Harper to $300-plus million contracts have not been met.

As the process drags on, the San Diego Padres have suddenly entered the picture for Machado, according to Kevin Acee of The San Diego Union-Tribune:

“The Padres were not initially the “mystery team” in pursuit of free agent infielder Manny Machado. But they qualify as such now. According to multiple sources aware of talks between the sides but not authorized to speak publicly, the Padres are pursuing the 26-year-old superstar with the intention of playing him at third base.

While Machado has made it clear his preference is to play shortstop, he reportedly is open to a position change under the right circumstances. It’s uncertain if the Padres’ desire to have the All-Star move to third base falls under that category.

Up to this point, Machado’s most aggressive suitors have largely appeared to be the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. The White Sox were said to have made a contract offer of six or seven years, though Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano, emphatically denied that being true.

Although Machado has essentially spent the entirety of his career in the American League, he previously stated that would not impact his decision in free agency. The Dodgers aren’t believed to have had much, if any, interest in re-signing Machado.