Red Sox in recent contact with Orioles about possible Machado trade

In the wake of reports that the New York Yankees have renewed their interest in shortstop Manny Machado, two industry sources indicated Tuesday that the Boston Red Sox also have been in recent contact with the Orioles.

The tightness of the American League East race makes that almost an imperative for the Red Sox, who entered Tuesday leading the Yankees by 2 ½ games. The only question is whether the Orioles really would deal with either of their chief division rivals.

Manager Buck Showalter was asked before Tuesday’s game against the Yankees whether the team would have any problem with Machado playing for a division rival for the remainder of this season. He responded by deferring to executive vice president Dan Duquette, but still seemed to answer in the affirmative.

“I have a lot of confidence that if and when Manny is traded that Dan and his people and the scouts and everything will get the best return they can possibly get,” Showalter said. “If it happens to be with that team that we’re playing tonight, then so be it.”

If both teams decide to make a big play, it could set up the dynamic the Orioles have been hoping to create to get the maximum value for Machado and the club’s other pending free agents by pitting divisional contenders against each other.

There has been speculation that the Orioles might try to package Machado and closer Zach Britton to raise the quality of the talent they get in return.

There was a Red Sox scout in attendance Tuesday at Oriole Park.

peter.schmuck@baltsun.com

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Read more from columnist Peter Schmuck on his blog, "The Schmuck Stops Here," at baltimoresun.com/schmuckblog.

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