Just a couple days after the New York Yankees’ “increased interest” in Baltimore Orioles All-Star shortstop Manny Machado was made known, it looks as though the asking price for the 26-year-old has been set.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi has reported that the Orioles would be willing to send Machado to the Yankees if left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield is involved in the deal.
Baltimore is in desperate need of pitching as its staff is ranked third-worst in the majors, allowing 5.22 runs per game.
Sheffield is the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect behind outfielder Estevan Florial. The 22-year-old has split time in double-A and triple-A this season, accruing a 4-5 record and 2.44 ERA with 95 strikeouts in 85 innings pitched.
Morosi added that there is “skepticism” on the Yankees end considering they would be giving up their best pitching talent for what could be nothing more than a rental in Machado. He becomes an unrestricted free agent after this season and will be one of the most sought-after talents on the market this winter alongside Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
New York might be even less inclined to make the deal though after hearing that Machado would prefer to sign with the Yankees in free agency.
According to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Yankees are “easily” his first choice, which could force him to wait until winter before coming to the Bronx. That way the Yankees won’t have to give up Sheffield and do without a significant upgrade to an offense that is already ranked second in Major League Baseball.
Machado is batting .314 with 23 home runs and 63 RBI this year. The Dodgers and Brewers are also reportedly in the mix for his services this summer.