MIAMI — The Baltimore Orioles have scouted the Phillies’ farm system in recent days. The Phillies have interest in two of the Orioles' top players, infielder Manny Machado and closer Zach Britton.
According to a baseball source, the Phillies have been “aggressive” in pursuing Machado in recent days. National baseball writer Ken Rosenthal reported on Friday that the Phillies have increased their offer to the Orioles (see story).
The Phillies are competing with the Dodgers, Yankees and Cardinals for Machado. The Brewers and Diamondbacks have also been mentioned as being in the hunt.
"It changes day to day," a baseball executive said Friday. "The whole industry is waiting for Machado to be traded. Other things will start to happen after that."
The Phillies’ offer for Machado is not known, but a source said the Orioles were seeking some of the Phillies’ top prospects. Names mentioned by the source were pitchers Adonis Medina, Ranger Suarez and Franklyn Kilome, infielder Arquimedes Gamboa and outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz. Pitcher Enyel De Los Santos could also be on the Orioles’ wish list. On the big-league roster, the Phils could part with Maikel Franco and/or Aaron Altherr. The Phillies are reluctant to part with top pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez.
Obviously, not all of these names would be involved in a trade for Machado — if one were to be consummated. But that provides an idea of what the Orioles are trying to get. If Britton were included in a deal with Machado, the Phillies would have to pay a higher price in talent. Adding Machado and Britton would greatly enhance the Phillies' chances of making the postseason. Machado would give them a big bat on the left side of the infield and Britton a dominant, late-game left-handed reliever.
The Orioles, for what it’s worth, scouted the Phillies’ Florida State League and Gulf Coast League teams this week.
The Phillies would like to add Machado. They’ve been interested in him for years. The hurdle, however, is he can be a free agent this fall and the Phillies don’t want to mortgage top prospects for a rental player. The Phillies surely would be open to negotiating a contract extension with the 26-year-old slugging infielder if he’d be interested. Short of getting an extension done with Machado this summer, the Phillies, who find themselves a surprise contender in the National League after missing the playoffs the last six years, could trade for Machado and take their chances that he would enjoy his Philadelphia experience and sign with the club in the offseason.