Perhaps we haven't seen the last of Manny Machado this summer in Philly.
The Phillies have upped their trade offer for the Orioles' shortstop, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. Per the report, the Yankees and Dodgers still have the strongest offers.
It's no secret the Phillies have long desired Machado's services, whether it's signing the perennial MVP candidate this winter or trading for him by the July 31 trade deadline.
When the Orioles were in Philadelphia last week, Machado did not rule out signing an extension this summer (see story).
To acquire Machado from Baltimore, the Phillies will have to pay a significant price. The Orioles have already messed up their handling of Machado, and they can't do so again this July.
Last week, MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported the O's would want "young, controllable starting pitching" in return for Machado.
Prior to this season, Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin had a career 5.85 ERA in 22 Major League starts. He was sent to Triple-A at the end of this Spring Training and spent all of April in the Minors. If the Orioles had called in April with a one-for-one trade proposal -- Machado for Eflin -- it's reasonable to believe the Phils would have accepted.
Now? The circumstances have changed. Eflin has a 2.97 ERA in 11 Major League starts this year. If Baltimore made the same proposal today -- a half-season of Machado for 4 1/2 of Eflin -- Philadelphia likely would say no, one source told MLB.com.
The Phillies also would be reluctant to part with right-hander Sixto Sanchez -- their No. 1 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com -- in a trade for Machado. It's unclear how the Phils will react if Class A right-hander Adonis Medina, who ranks No. 2 on that list, is the Orioles' formal request in a Machado offer on July 31.
Heading into their final series before the All-Star break, the Phillies are 52-40 and in first place in the NL East. Yes, the Phils are in the middle of a pennant race.
While talking recently about what he believes the Phillies need at the trade deadline, first-year manager Gabe Kapler deflected to general manager Matt Klentak (see story).
But when asked about Zach Eflin, he said: "I don't think we are where we are today if not for Zach Eflin's performance in the last five weeks. He's been incredibly valuable for us."
We're about two weeks away from the trade deadline. The hot stove will continue to heat up and we'll continue to hear more and more reports about Machado until a decision is made.