The NL Central is currently bonkers. At the top sit the Pittsburgh Pirates and Milwaukee Brewers with records of 25-17 and 26-18, respectively. But just below them rest the St. Louis Cardinals (23-17) and Chicago Cubs (22-18). The Cardinals are one game back while the Cubs are just two. That said, does the division have room for Manny Machado?
If the Cubs have their way, the answer to that question will be yes. Per Jon Heyman of FRS Baseball, Theo Epstein and company is making Machado their main target ahead of the July trade deadline.
“The Chicago Cubs will take a look at acquiring superstar shortstop Manny Machado, sources say. … with Addison Russell seen as part of a possible package for the Orioles, and word now is that he is the Cubs’ main target at the deadline.”
Of course, this comes on the heels of Epstein saying they won’t pay a premium for a rental.
“As a rule, we will not be paying premiums for rentals. We just won’t,” Epstein says.
But then again, they’ve done just that in the past. And more than that, Machado might just be too good of a name to pass up. On the season, he’s slashing .342/.422/.652 while pacing the AL in home runs (13) and RBI (38). In the meantime, the Baltimore Orioles are just 13-29. Only the Chicago White Sox have fewer losses.
Machado is as good as gone.