In entertaining trade offers for third baseman Manny Machado, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said that he will consider dealing the franchise’s top homegrown talent of this generation to a division rival like the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox for his final year before free agency.
The Yankees have reportedly shown interest in acquiring the 25-year-old Machado, who will become a free agent after the 2018 season, all after already acquiring reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton.
“Well, I think you have to look at the entire market if you’re going to accurately assess the market, and the entire market would include teams in the American League East that we compete against,” Duquette said Wednesday morning in a video interview with The Baltimore Sun.
The Orioles have made lesser deals with division rivals in the past. They acquired pitcher Richard Bleier, who has emerged as a valuable left-handed reliever, in a minor trade with the Yankees this past February, and also acquired right-hander Yefry Ramirez for an international bonus slot in July. They made a savvy trade with the Red Sox before the 2013 season to get infielder Danny Valencia, and the Orioles outbid the Detroit Tigers for lefty reliever Andrew Miller at the 2014 trade deadline. Miller was a big reason why the Orioles were able to eliminate the Tigers in that year’s American League Division Series, though it cost them young, talented left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez.
“We have made some trades with the Red Sox and we have made some trades with the Yankees,” Duquette said. “We picked up Bleier from the Yankees. We also picked up a pitcher, Yefry Ramirez, who won 15 games at Double-A last year, and we hope he will come up and help our rotation or be a potential major league pitcher this year.
“With the Red Sox, we made the Andrew Miller trade, and we had to give up a good player to get him because there was another team willing to give up a good player to get him and we wouldn’t have had him for our run to try to win the pennant in 2014. We also picked up Danny Valencia from the Red Sox. So I think you have to look at the whole market, and in this case, the Orioles will look at the entire market.”
More recently, the Orioles acquired shortstop Tim Beckham from the Tampa Bay Rays at this year’s nonwaiver trade deadline, but a deal with the Rays isn’t comparable to helping division behemoths in New York and Boston to stockpile talent.
But none of those deals compare to the magnitude of a potential Machado trade to the Yankees.
“Well, Manny Machado is a unique talent, a great player, and our fans have had the opportunity to see him perform firsthand and see his talent,” Duquette said. “There’s no hiding Manny Machado and his talent. He’s a good player.”
Still, a deal to a division rival would have to be approved by the Orioles, and when a team source was asked whether he believed managing partner Peter G. Angelos would OK a Machado deal to the Yankees, he said, “Probably not.”
The Orioles might not have a choice down the road when Machado can become a free agent after next season and can decide his future team. The Yankees have always been a possible landing spot. And besides getting Stanton, they moved third baseman Chase Headley — and most of the $13 million remaining on his contract — at this week’s winter meetings to better position themselves to get under the luxury tax and take on salary in the future.
In Wednesday’s video interview with The Sun, which can be seen above, Duquette provided an update on the Machado situation, discussed the ramifications of making such a deal and assessed the Orioles’ winter meetings so far.