The D-backs have been the "most persistent" of the several clubs looking to trade for Orioles star third baseman Manny Machado, but the sides are not close to a deal, sources told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.
Sources confirm momentum in Cole discussions between #Astros and #Pirates, as @JesseSanchezMLB reported. Wrote today about how Astros would prefer to trade for Cole than sign Darvish - and concerns some clubs have with the Pirates’ right-hander. https://t.co/fnk2gu3Qt1 $— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) 10 de enero de 2018
Arizona has been one of the many teams in pursuit of Machado since Baltimore began fielding offers for the 25-year-old infielder.
While the Yankees and Red Sox have been two of the other clubs reportedly interested, Rosenthal notes it would likely be difficult for executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette "to sell owner Peter Angelos" on a deal to an American League East rival.
Rival executives see Machado opening the season in Baltimore, according to Rosenthal. The Orioles seem to be only willing to deal their former first-round Draft pick for a big return that would likely have to include multiple young starting pitchers.
Machado can be a free agent following the 2018 season. As Rosenthal noted, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones and relievers Brad Brach and Zach Britton are also eligible to hit the open market at the same time. Additionally, the contracts of Duquette and manager Buck Showalter are due to expire at the end of this season, meaning it could be Baltimore's final year with its current core group.
Machado is a .279/.329/.476 hitter with 138 home runs and 406 RBIs in 764 games over six Major League seasons, while also being regarded annually as one of the best defensive third basemen in the game.
A two-time Gold Glove Award winner, Machado has requested a move to shortstop, his natural position. It's a move that could increase his value even more as he looks to land a large contract next offseason.