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Potential trade packages for Machado start to emerge

Manny Machado
Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles in a game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Phillies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on July 12, 2018. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

So Manny Machado is the big name as we wind down to the trade deadline. The Orioles have said that they want to wrap a potential Machado deal up sooner rather than later and word is that a deal could come very shortly after the All-Star Break when teams may make their pitch face-to-face.

For a while, it looked like the Phillies had fallen behind other teams in the pursuit of Machado but word of a renewed interest from the Phillies that resulted in them putting together a better offer for Machado and suddenly, they’re right in the mix and possibly the front-runner going into the break.

One big change is that the Phillies agreed to include pitcher Adonis Medina in a package of prospects to pry Machado away from Baltimore. They have however said “no” to including pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez and are thought to not be very interested in dealing Enyel De Los Santos as part of a package of players for Machado.

The 21-year old Medina has struggled with Clearwater this season but is a solid pitching prospect, who was ranked fifth on Philly Baseball Insider’s list of the Top 50 Phillies Prospects coming into the season. While Medina is 8-3 with Clearwater, his ERA has ballooned up to 4.92 in 15 starts with the Threshers this season. Last season at Lakewood, he went 4-9 with a solid 3.53 ERA. Coming into the 2018 season he had a career mark of 14-17 with a 2.81 ERA.

As for the other prospects named by Heyman, Ranger Suarez just came off of the DL and threw five scoreless innings for Lehigh Valley on Sunday. He’s getting close to being major league ready and some believe that he could potentially be rushed a little and moved to the majors now, although waiting a couple months – at least – would likely have some benefit.  Franklyn Kilome has seen just a little of the shine on his star start to fade and he’s struggled to a 4.35 ERA in 17 starts with Reading this season and is posting a career-high 4.6 walks-per-nine-innings.

The two other players mentioned – Arquimedes Gamboa and Jhailyn Ortiz – are position players who are seeing an uptick in their value.

Gamboa is a shortstop with somewhat inconsistent fielding abilities but highlights a strong arm and good range. Offensively, last season was his first in a full-season league and at age 19 he put together somewhat of a breakout campaign, hitting a career-high .261 with career highs in home runs (6) and RBI (29). This season has been an interesting one for Gamboa who is now at High-A Clearwater. In basically the same number of games that he played last season at Low-A Lakewood, Gamboa is at 2-27-.228 with an on-base percentage right around where he was last season at Lakewood thanks to a mild uptick in plate discipline.

Ortiz, 19, is in much the same spot that Gamboa was last season as a 19-year old playing his first year in a full-season league. Coming into the season, Ortiz had hit one home run in every 24 plate appearances but has seen that fall to one every 30 PA with Lakewood. His average has fluctuated, going from .231 in the Gulf Coast League in 2016 to .302 last season and back down to .238 this year at Lakewood.

Pretty much any combination of the players mentioned by Heyman wouldn’t be a huge give for the Phillies if they truly want Machado. When it gets scary is when Baltimore brings up names like De Los Santos or Zach Eflin.

When you think about the Phillies acquiring Machado, keep in mind that the 26-year old is a free agent at the end of the season. He’ll command a ton of money but that’s not anything that will scare the Phillies, who have money to spend. What does scare them is giving up a boat load of prospects in a deal to rent him. Ask yourself one question in regard to the Phillies trading for Machado; does he put them in the World Series?

The answer to that is “no.” While Machado would boost a Phillies offense that struggles more often than not, if he’s not going to get you into the World Series this season then why give up solid prospects to get him when you can simply throw money at him – money you would have to throw at him anyway – to sign him as a free agent and look to make the 2019 Phillies a World Series contender with the addition of Machado and likely at least one other player?

There is a host of teams looking to get Machado – and some, like the Phillies, also want Zach Britton as part of the deal – and it’s very possible that things could play out this week. Baltimore woke everybody up when they pulled Machado from the lineup mid-game on Sunday and news of an impending deal started to spread. Turned out that they pulled him because of the field conditions as they didn’t want him to risk an injury playing on a muddy infield.

Perhaps Heyman wrapped up the Phillies position most succinctly but it still comes back to whether or not you think he puts the Phillies in the World Series this fall or whether you think they can wait and get him later.

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