WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Orioles are said to be "very close" to a trade involving superstar shortstop Manny Machado, sources familiar with the situation confirmed — though he will appear in Tuesday's All-Star Game as a member of the Orioles.
The Phillies, Brewers and Dodgers were reported as the leaders in the Machado derby a few days ago, with the Yankees and Indians running a bit behind. The team that is close to a deal isn't known, but it won't be the Yankees, who according to Orioles sources didn't have the need of some others.
"Manny's going to represent the O's in the All-Star game," is the official word of an Orioles person.
However, Tuesday's Capital Beltway showcase could easily be his last game in a Baltimore uniform.
Machado, who has 24 home runs and 65 RBI along with with a .315 batting average, seemed almost wistful at times at All-Star Media Day, telling the assembled press, "I don't know what the right fit is ... The Orioles are the ones who gave me the opportunity. I don't know anything different."
He also seemed to know his time as a member of the Orioles was running short.
"It's part of the game," Machado said of trades and trade talks.
The Phillies have been seen as a possible leader in recent days, as they have an obvious need, the prospects and a love for Machado from their executives' days with the Orioles. Phillies president Andy MacPhail, GM Matt Klentak and other execs all were in Baltimore when Machado was selected No. 3 overall in the 2010 MLB Draft. Machado spoke about that possibility on All-Star Media Day, too:
"It would be nice to see some familiar faces," he said.
The Brewers have a need at shortstop, as well, and have been a consistent player, while the Dodgers, who seem to have things covered despite losing starting shortstop Corey Seager for the year, have been in the middle of talks, too.
The Yankees and Indians, who'd want Machado for third base, seemed to be on the fringe of the chase. But even though Machado has made clear his "heart" is at shortstop, he knows that wouldn't be up to him.
"At that point, I've got no say," he said. "Whoever trades for me, it's going to be out of my hands."
Roch Kubatko of MASN and MASN.com was first to report a deal for Machado was close. It's now clear we may learn which team is on the other side of that deal soon.