One development that was a bit surprising this past offseason was the Baltimore Orioles reportedly were shopping franchise shortstop Manny Machado in trade talks.
It is unknown how far discussions with other clubs got, and Machado is still in Baltimore as the season is now underway. One reason for their willingness to include Machado in trade talks is the Orioles again aren’t expected to compete for a World Series or make a serious playoff run.
Additionally, Machado is on track to become a free agent this winter, in a class that may also include the likes of Bryce Harper and Clayton Kershaw.
Whether via trade this season or free agency, it appears Machado’s time with the Orioles may be coming to an end. Should the talented infielder reach the open market, he’s expected to sign one of the most lucrative contracts in Major League history.
On the trade front, the Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly were involved in talks with the Orioles at some point either during the offseason or more recently, per Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball:
They were another of the nine teams said by a source to have seriously engaged the Orioles in trade talk, though it’s possible those talks didn’t take place until after Justin Turner went down.
With Corey Seager at shortstop and Justin Turner at third base, there isn’t an easy fit for Machado in Los Angeles, although that wouldn’t be a bad problem to have. The three-time All-Star has said in the past he wants to play shortstop, which would have made for a crowded infield once Justin Turner is off the disabled list.
The Dodgers didn’t spend any money this past offseason in order to get below the luxury tax threshold in 2018. That’s going to allow them to reset their penalty rate and put the franchise in a stronger position to pursue the likes of Harper, Kershaw or Machado.
While the Dodgers didn’t trade for Machado during the offseason, it is possible that talks of him potentially landing in Los Angeles are not over.