Before Orioles shortstop Manny Machado got his turn before the cameras at Monday's All-Star Game media day at Nationals Park, representatives from the three teams who were leading that chase on Sunday — the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers — outlined the impact he could have on a playoff race.
"I think he can add a lot," Phillies starter Aaron Nola said. "I don't know the situation, really, right now, or what's going to happen. It's out of my control. I think wherever he goes, he's going to add something. He's a guy who is a player. He's done a lot in his career, and I think wherever he goes or ends up, he's going to be good."
Machado, who will bat seventh and start at shortstop for the American League on Tuesday, is batting .315 with 24 home runs at the break. He held court for reporters during the second session featuring American League players, but his own future came up before he arrived.
"He's a great player," said Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, one of five All-Stars from that club. "I think his skill set and everything he's accomplished in this game speaks for itself. He'd be a great addition to not only our team, but any team he goes to. He's one of the best players in the game. We'll see where it all shakes out. Obviously, I've seen that we've been rumored to be in that, but you never know about the rumors, what's true and what's not. I guess we'll all see what happens here in the next couple of weeks."
Yelich said the Brewers have had plenty of other things to worry about, but that Machado's name was something he and all his teammates were cognizant of as they approached the break 2 1/2 games behind the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central race. Meanwhile, the Phillies (53-42) and the Dodgers (53-43) are leading the NL East and West, respectively.
Whichever team acquires Machado would get a significant boost on that front.
"I guess we'll see," Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp said. "I don't know what's going to happen — you add a guy like that to any lineup, and automatically, their lineup is going to be boosted a lot. A guy like that can help any team win. We'll see where he lands."
Even the players know the whole baseball world is waiting for that landing. Yelich said it's overwhelming a lot of the talk at this week's All-Star Game festivities.
"I'm sure people who are baseball fans, pay attention to the game, they see what he's done and what kind of player he is. I feel like it's one of the bigger talking points right now in the game, as far as on TV or whatnot, in Major League Baseball."