Add the division rival New York Yankees to the long list of teams interested in acquiring Orioles shortstop Manny Machado.
The Yankees have inquired with the Orioles about trading for their lone All-Star, according to an industry source.
They also have expressed interest in relievers Zach Britton and Brad Brach, both of whom are pending free agents, like Machado, as well as in right-handed starter Kevin Gausman, who is under team control for two more years after this season.
Discussions have not progressed far — New York has yet to make an offer — and it’s unclear whether the Orioles would even be willing to deal Machado to a fellow American League East member.
But Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette told The Baltimore Sun during baseball’s winter meetings that he was open to moving Machado to a divisional foe. That the Orioles are currently engaged in discussions with the Yankees suggests that the team’s decision makers are willing to consider it; a trade would net the Orioles talent from one of the game’s richest farm systems.
Still, the Orioles can't stop where Machado goes after this season, and if New York is unwilling to part with its top prospects, the organization also could sign him as a free agent in the offseason.
After the Orioles’ 10-2 loss Monday night to the Yankees, Machado declined to comment on speculation about New York’s interest.
“If you want to talk me about something, then talk to me about the game,” he said. “Talk to me about something useful, not about rumors. I ain’t here to talk about rumors.”
But with the Yankees battling the Boston Red Sox in a close AL East race, Machado could be a key stretch-run acquisition this season. New York third baseman Miguel Andujar and shortstop Didi Gregorius are slashing .279/.309/.500 and .255/.320/.455, respectively, this year.
There’s no indication that the Orioles would be willing to move a controllable starting pitcher like Gausman, who appears to be a big part of the team’s future, especially to a division rival.
While the Orioles are on pace for one of the worst seasons in major league history, their starting rotation has shown improvement, with Gausman and right-hander Dylan Bundy taking steps forward in their promising careers. The Orioles are building toward the future, aiming to acquire young players and prospects they will have under team control for the next four to six years.
At this point, the Orioles appear most likely to deal Machado to a National League team. Over the weekend, a source said seven teams had made offers for Machado, and that the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves were the top suitors, in that order. All are fighting in closely contested division races.
Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli contributed to this article.