Baltimore Orioles: Play one team right off another in the Manny Machado sweeepstakes

Dylan Bundy only lasted four innings last night as the Baltimore Orioles fell hard to New York, 9-0. It’s impossible to win when you don’t score any runs, which was the Orioles’ plight last night. Bundy’s line: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 3 K.

The big blast came in the third with New York already leading 1-0, as Bird smacked a grand slam off the right field foul pole. Obviously New York added to the lead the rest of the night, but that all but ended the competitive portion of the ballgame. And it’s really indicative of the Orioles’ season in a way. Opponents are always able to dig just deep enough to get what they need to beat them. In this case, the ball appeared to be going foul, but stayed just fair enough to smack off the foul pole.

The big story around Camden Yards has been Manny Machado, and where he’s going – and when. New York threw their hat into the ring seeing as they were in Baltimore the first part of this week, and the assumption’s been since then that he was going there. I’ll once again caution against trading a player of his caliber within the division. Even if you get a great haul in return, the fact is that there’s probably another team out there willing to give you just as good a haul. And that has Machado signing a new contract with New York (perhaps even before the current one expires) and living happily ever after for years and years written all over it.

But in the interim, New York is all but doing the Orioles a favor by even being involved. If New York wants him, that means Boston wants him. We also know that the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested. That also means that Arizona has to consider trading for him. And it goes on and on.

If you listen to the national media, many of them point out that the Orioles don’t have nary any leverage in this scenario because Machado would really end up being a rental. (Obviously whichever team trades for him would have his rights until the end of the season – so they could wow him with their culture and find a way to re-sign him.) However with so many teams interested, how exactly do the Orioles not have leverage?

Before last night’s game word circulated that New York had made a “good” offer to the Orioles. So then the Orioles probably went back to Boston and Los Angeles and said this is what’s on the table right now, but I wanted to give you a chance to make a counter-offer. And I suspect that charade has been going on for some time. That ensures the Orioles are going to get a haul in return. This as opposed to the low-A prospect that many people felt they’d get at one point.

Many people tell me that the longer they wait the harder it’ll get to find a deal. It seems to me that it’s quite to the contrary. The deal could get better as they let this drag on. Because in reality the Orioles have until the end of the month. Now I don’t think they’ll wait that long, and in fact it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s traded before the all-star break. But the more they wheel and deal, the more they’re able to play one team off of another. And the better the return gets.

The Orioles were scheduled to be off today, but they’ll take on Philadelphia at home in a makeup game from earlier in the season. Kevin Gausman gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Philadelphia’s Nick Pivetta. Game time is set for just after 6 PM.


  1. Any team who would squeeze other teams for a player or any blogger who would advocate it is morally bankrupt. GREED! GREED! GREED!


    1. Ray, welcome to the world of baseball trades. This is how it works. Either deal with it or don’t sweat it. Greed is a good thing when you’re trying to get a haul back for a potential hall of fame-caliber player.


    1. The point about him getting hurt is a valid one. However that’s the risk anyone runs by being in the business of sports.

      The Orioles are out for the best deal for them. If that turns other teams off, so be it. But this is how the business of baseball works. For a player the caliber of Machado, they’ll be willing to play the game a bit. Trust me.


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