Report: Orioles taking calls on Manny Machado
But before he hits the open market, could the Bronx Bombers consider making a trade for the two-way stud to make him their third baseman of the future?
According to Jon Heyman of FanRagSports, the Orioles have been receiving calls from numerous teams inquiring about their prized infielder, and the Yankees are among the best-positioned clubs with the financial flexibility and prospect depth to strike up a deal if they see fit.
"While the Orioles are not shopping - and love - Machado, word is that would be willing to listen on any player - even their best player," Heyman reported Thursday. "The Yankees and Phillies are among many teams expected to have interest in Machado, who is eligible for free agency after the 2018 season."
The cost for Machado will be massive, whether it's in regards to the number and quality of the prospects offered in any potential trade deal, or if he plays out his current contract in Baltimore and subsequently lands a payday in the $300 million range in free agency.
The Orioles could also scrape up the money to sign Machado to an extension before then, though that remains unlikely.
"[Machado] could be expected to receive a contract in the range of Giancarlo Stranton's record $325 million deal as a free agent, and other teams believe that might be too steep for the Orioles," Heyman writes, adding that, "it would obviously take a ton for the Orioles to even consider moving such a superstar," in any potential trades.
Chase Headley will be entering the final year of his deal in 2018, but the Yankees have to also consider the futures of youthful prospects like Miguel Andujar and possibly Gleyber Torres, who are on track to one day take over at the hot corner after next season.
But for a player like Machado - who has become one of the game's most feared hitters over his six-year MLB career, during which time he's hit 138 homers and 406 RBI, while slashing .279/.329/.476 and finishing in the top-five in MVP voting two of the last three seasons - teams would find a way to make room for him on the roster.
Another barrier to a Yankees-Orioles transaction is also the obvious fact that the two teams share the same division, and may not feel compelled to help one another succeed in the short- and long-term.
With Machado, the Yankees would be adding a two-time Gold Glover who's averaged 158 games played, 35 home runs and 92 RBI over the last three seasons to a club that nearly battled their way to the World Series in 2017. In return, the Orioles would likely ask for a bevy of pitching prospects to address their recent rotational struggles, which the Yankees might be hesitant to part with.
Stay tuned to YES Network for more news and updates this offseason.