With the Orioles season winding down and hopes for the playoffs getting slimmer by the day, the conversation surrounding the team has turned to the offseason and what changes need to be made. In particular, there are questions surrounding what will happen with the team’s best player, third baseman Manny Machado. The 25-year-old Machado isn’t eligible to be a free agent until 2018 but, there’s concern that he could leave for greener pastures.
Due to that concern, some have wondered whether the O’s should trade Machado for what would surely be a sublime package of prospects in return. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, that’s not likely to happen this offseason.
In any case, there is no evidence they would consider trading him this winter. One Orioles person said in regard to their intention not to trade Machado, “It would take us 35 years to find another player like him.”
However, reading further in Heyman’s piece, there’s some information that could prove to be a source of frustration for Orioles fans. According to Heyman’s sources, the team was close to locking Machado in long-term just a few years ago.
“The Orioles are said by sources to have come “within $8 million or $9 million” of locking him up a couple years back, though one person familiar with those talks said the offer was for “well below $100 million,” and that person suggested he didn’t believe the sides were especially close to a deal. However, it seems Machado’s side might have made some sort of counteroffer to stay, or at least provided parameters, since sources are suggesting the gap ($8 million to $9 million) existed.”
Not closing that gap in negotiations back then may come back to haunt the Orioles as now, as Heyman points out, Machado could seek a deal that features Giancarlo Stanton type money. The full piece is worth a read as Heyman is pretty plugged in to the everyday ebb and flow of the league.