Could this be deal that gets Machado to Bronx?

When it comes to Manny Machado, there’s no shortage of rumors and speculation leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The latest? The New York Yankees could be getting into the mix. So let’s have some fun and concoct a potential trade between them and the Baltimore Orioles involving the star slugger.

The Yankees, after all, suddenly are showing increased interest in Machado, as reported by both MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, writing for The Athletic (subscription required), and Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun.

When it comes to Manny Machado, there’s no shortage of rumors and speculation leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The latest? The New York Yankees could be getting into the mix. So let’s have some fun and concoct a potential trade between them and the Baltimore Orioles involving the star slugger.

The Yankees, after all, suddenly are showing increased interest in Machado, as reported by both MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, writing for The Athletic (subscription required), and Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun.

Video: Machado lands a spot in the 2018 All-Star Game

Regardless, let’s start off by pointing out that this scenario might be unlikely, given that the O’s and Yanks are American League East rivals. Also? They haven’t made a significant swap since 2006 — and that’s only if you can count late-career Jaret Wright, who went from New York to Baltimore along with cash for fellow righty Chris Britton, as such.

There’s also the fact that Machado, who played third base in his first six big league seasons, has reiterated multiple times that his preference is to remain at shortstop. The Yankees, of course, have Didi Gregorius there. Would Machado slide back to the hot corner? That remains to be seen, but even in that case, Miguel Andujar has played well there in his rookie season. In other words, the Yanks don’t necessarily have a pressing need on the left side of their infield.

Video: BAL@MIN: Machado dives to make a spectacular catch

Machado, however, is one of the sport’s best all-around players, he’s in the midst of a career campaign (.309/.379/.555, 21 HRs) and unquestionably would make the Yankees better. He’ll also be a free agent at season’s end, making Machado a rental — albeit one the Yanks could consider re-signing this offseason.

Given that, we asked MLB.com’s resident GM Jim Duquette what he thought a possible Machado-to-the-Yankees trade could look like.

Duquette’s suggested swap? Machado and left-handed reliever Zach Britton for right-hander Domingo German, infielder Brandon Drury and outfielder Clint Frazier.

That adds Britton — another impending free agent — to the mix, which could appeal to the Yankees as a way to beef up an already stellar bullpen with a left-hander who has plenty of late-inning experience on his resume.

Video: Zach Britton among best left-handed relievers?

In return, the Orioles would land a package featuring three young players with Major League experience but plenty of remaining club control. That’s a nice infusion of talent for a rebuilding club in need of both quantity and quality.

German, a 25-year-old rookie, has shown his stuff can get big league batters to swing and miss (10.4 K/9), and he could join Baltimore’s rotation immediately, thus addressing the club’s primary need.

Video: SEA@NYY: German strikes out 9 over 7 strong innings

Drury, also 25, has been stuck in Triple-A for much of 2018 after going on the DL early and losing the third-base job to Andujar. He’s shown promise with the bat (.267/.316/.441), versatility with the glove in parts of four MLB seasons and would help replace Machado on the left side of the O’s infield.

Frazier, a 23-year-old former top prospect acquired as part of the return for Andrew Miller at the 2016 non-waiver Trade Deadline, has loads of power potential but is blocked by a fully stocked Yankees outfield. The Orioles would have no such issue plugging him into an outfield corner right away and for years to come.

From the Yankees’ perspective, that might seem a little steep for a pair of rental players — even ones as impactful as Machado and Britton — in which case, Duquette suggested New York could insist on getting righty reliever Mychal Givens, who is under control through 2021, instead of Britton.

The big question for the Yankees in all of this: What happens to Andujar, the AL Rookie of the Month in June, if Machado takes over third base?

Video: Miguel Andujar named AL Rookie of the Month for June

In the short term, Andujar likely would move into a backup role, making him a big bat off the bench. The other option might be to send the 23-year-old back to Triple-A, where he could play every day. That’s a tough decision for a young player with 12 homers and an .809 OPS entering Tuesday, but he does have Minor League options remaining.

In the long term, if the Yankees don’t re-sign Machado, Andujar simply reclaims the hot corner in 2019. If Machado takes to the Bronx and New York chooses to pony up for arguably the biggest name on the free-agent market? Well, then Andujar becomes yet another very valuable trade chip for a Yanks team loaded with them.

Which is why this potential Machado-to-the-Yankees blockbuster, though unlikely, is even possible in the first place.

Jason Catania is a reporter for MLB.com.

Published on Tue, 10 Jul 2018 16:41:17 +0000

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