The Baltimore Orioles are a very bad baseball team. At 15-32, they are the third-worst team in the American League. Only the Kansas City Royals (14) and Chicago White Sox (13) have fewer wins. But Manny Machado is very good. And as MLB’s non-waiver trade deadline approaches, Machado is front and center when it comes to trade rumors. In fact, the Chicago Cubs expect to speak with the Orioles soon regarding a potential deal. That said, Machado only has his mind on one things, according to Jay Cohen of The Associated Press:
“I go out there and play baseball. I’m not getting distracted by any of this. All these talks, rumors, they’re all rumors and talks. At the end of the day I got to go out there and perform and win games for this ballclub. We’re trying to make a push for things and we’re a little behind, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward,” Machado says.
These are all nice things to say. And on the surface, Machado is doing the noble thing by saying all the right things. But the fact of the matter is that the Orioles are bad. And this season, they aren’t going anywhere. But the same cannot be guaranteed for Machado. Right now, he’s slashing .343/.420/.660. Not only that, but he’s pacing the AL in hits (62), home runs (15) and RBI (43). There’s a tricky obstacle to overcome for the Orioles, however. Manny is free to leave as a free agent at the end of the season. Therefore, Baltimore is running out of time and leverage.
If they move him before the deadline, there’s still a good chance that they receive a great haul in return. But if they fail to do so, they risk losing him for nothing. And while Machado is only worrying about baseball for the time being, the Orioles need to worry about their future. They’re already a mess. Now they just have to take steps to ensure they don’t become even more of one.