Washington — It appears that Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Nationals Park will be Manny Machado’s last game as a member of the Orioles.
On Tuesday morning, the Orioles continued to close in on finalizing a trade to send Machado to a contender, and a source said that a deal will likely be completed over the next 72 hours.
A deal for the American League All-Star team’s starting shortstop could be completed as soon as Wednesday, but more likely before the Orioles resume their regular season Friday in Toronto.
Over the past several days, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers have emerged as finalists for Machado. Despite reports suggesting a front-runner, the Orioles have done well in presenting an even playing field among suitors.
The Dodgers have always been near the top of the list of Machado’s suitors, and the Orioles have targeted top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz as one of the top players they are coveting in a potential trade with Los Angeles. A source said Tuesday that Diaz has been “extensively discussed” in trade talks with the Dodgers.
Diaz, who homered twice for the World team in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, is the Dodgers’ fourth-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline and their sixth best according to Baseball America. A 21-year-old Cuba native, Diaz was signed to a $15.5 million bonus after the 2015 season and has been fast-tracked since. He is currently hitting .314/.428/.477 with 20 extra-base hits and 30 RBIs in 59 games with Double-A Tulsa this season.
All three finalists preferred to acquire Machado last month, not as a two-month rental before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline. But the Orioles took time to weigh offers from eight different teams, fully understanding that this deal was one to be orchestrated with precision.
While the Orioles are currently working through the final steps of their trade of Machado, who’s set to play in his fourth All-Star Game before reaching free agency at the age of 26, the club is known to be meticulous in its medical reviews. Even if the Orioles are close to finalizing a deal, it still could take a few days to complete.
Regardless, these appear to be Machado’s final days as an Oriole.
“My phone’s ringing every day,” Machado said of the rumors Monday while speaking to a huge All-Star Game media throng Monday. “I honestly haven’t even thought about it like (leaving the Orioles). I have a lot of friends, a lot of relationships that have grown there. I try to not think about any trades or about another team, because it’s a lot of relationships, a lot of friendships … with everyone in there.”
Machado said Monday that if he were to be traded, he’d prefer it happen sooner than later.
“Definitely, 100 percent,” Machado said. “Get these answers done with and just get it over with already. Let’s go on and not have to answer these questions no more. That would be good.”