Jon Heyman: Dodgers are leader for Machado; deal close to conclusion

The Dodgers appear to be the leader to acquire Orioles shortstop Manny Machado as the situation moves toward a conclusion, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

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The situation remains fluid, and the Brewers, Phillies and Diamondbacks could still become involved in the late stages of the race to acquire the perennial American League All-Star, who previously played at third base. The Diamondbacks in particular are still "active," and could be running second in the unfolding derby. But for now the Dodgers have emerged as a clear leader and could be close to acquiring the infielder for the remainder of the 2018 season. 

Machado is an unrestricted free agent after the season and is expected to demand one of the highest and longest-term contracts on the market. He has been steadfast in insisting that he is a shortstop, but admitted at All-Star Media Day Monday that whichever team acquired him before the deadline would dictate where he plays. 

"At that point, I've got no say," Machado told the media Monday. "Whoever trades for me, it's going to be out of my hands."

If he moves to Los Angeles, Machado will effectively be filling in for injured shortstop Corey Seager, the 24-year-old budding star who was lost for the season. That makes it highly likely that he would be a rental for the remainder of the season and then sign with a different organization in the offseason, though that would be re-evaluated after the season. 

Jon Heyman is Fancred's baseball insider. He publishes his weekly Inside Baseball column each Thursday on the App and You can download the App here and interact with Jon by following him right here.