Cubs Trade Rumors: Machado Reportedly Cubs’ Main Trade Target

If you were hoping the Manny Machado-to-the-Cubs talk was going to go away soon, you might not want to hold your breath. Rumors swirled this winter as the Cubs reportedly discussed a package that included Addison Russell and Mike Montgomery, but there was never any significant traction as the Orioles stood firm on some unreasonable expectations of other teams.

The rumor flames have been fanned throughout the early part of the season as the O’s have proven to be an afterthought in the AL East and Machado has displayed an elite bat. And even though Theo Epstein has gone on record as saying the Cubs will not pay premium prices for a rental, Jon Heyman is reporting that the team is still targeting the shortstop, who’ll be a free agent after this season.

The Chicago Cubs will take a look at acquiring superstar shortstop Manny Machado, sources say. Machado was speculated by FRS Sports a few weeks back as a likely candidate for the Cubs, with Addison Russell seen as part of a possible package for the Orioles, and word now is that he is the Cubs’ main target at the deadline.

The Cubs are one of nine teams to talk to the Orioles about Machado over the winter when Baltimore was fielding offers – the others were the Phillies, Cardinals, White Sox, Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. The Dodgers might be the most logical landing spot for Machado due to the season-ending elbow injury to their star shortstop Corey Seager, but with the Dodgers in a situation where they have multiple issues in an awful, injury-wracked start, the Cubs could come to the forefront.

Huh, so that’s cool. Heyman also lists the D-backs, Indians, and Cardinals as potential suitors, but notes that most contenders are pretty well set on the left side of the infield. As such, the Cubs would make sense because they could swap Machado and Addison Russell.

As we’ve discussed here before, particularly in light of Epstein’s comments (see link above for more), the Cubs would probably like to work out an extension with Machado prior to swinging a big deal. They’d surely like to have the chance to at least discuss one, an option Orioles’ leadership reportedly denied in earlier conversations. Then again, they may not actually view such a blockbuster as “paying a premium.”

I know that sounds odd, but we have to assume that the cost to acquire the O’s superstar has dropped significantly since talks began. Not only would he be with his new team for only a portion of the season, but having him for less than a year also means that said team will not receive a compensatory pick should he leave in free agency.

And while Machado has been vocal about wanting to test those waters, the Cubs are uniquely suited to getting him to come off of that stance. They’re set up to win now and in the future, he’d be able to play short, and he’d get to fulfill his childhood dream of playing alongside his best friend, Albert Almora Jr.

Russell would be a big price to pay, and there’s reason to believe the Cubs would have to part with even more. But if Epstein and Co. believe that this trade gives them a better chance to win the division and the World Series both this season and beyond, how could they not do it?

This is all still rumor and speculation at this point, of course, but we’ve seen more than enough smoke by now to believe that a fire could indeed be burning somewhere. Stay tuned.

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Evan Altman

Evan Altman is the EIC and co-founder of Cubs Insider and has proclaimed himself Central Indiana's foremost Cubs authority. He is a husband, father, homebrewer, and award-winning blogger with entirely too much pop culture knowledge. Evan's greatest accomplishments include scoring 400 points in Magic Johnson's Fast Break, naming all 10 members of the Wu-Tang Clan in under 3.5 seconds, and winning the Meese Literary Award at Hanover College.

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7 thoughts on “Cubs Trade Rumors: Machado Reportedly Cubs’ Main Trade Target”

    1. Agreed. The way the NL is setting up this year, as in, every team has warts, could be the year to go all in. 2019 is looking like a lot of teams are going to make bigger steps forward.
      I still think Russell is an overpay for a half season or less of Machado. But if the team has determined it wants to move on from Russell, then I could see it, regardless of who they target in the offseason. More so,if in fact, Machado is there offseason target. Exposing him to the Cubs culture couldn’t hurt, might help. An contract/extension would be nice, but really, how often do u see that?

  1. Only if they can sign him long term. Dont need another Aroldis Chapman situation where he plays here half a season then goes to sign with the Yankees.

  2. You would have to think that Epstein might roll the dice on Machado, even with just the promise of “favorable consideration”. Get him in the clubhouse, get him with his buddy AA, get him the taste of competitive baseball, playoffs, and the worlds greatest home field fans and atmosphere – and if you are Theo, you have to think “I can sign him”.

    On the trade side, while I don’t know that you get a deal done without Russell in the mix – they may not have to throw in a whole lot more due to lack of competition. L.A. is still a threat, but only if they somehow get within striking distance of the playoffs come July – and that’s not looking good at already 8 games out. Otherwise it would have to be a rogue contender like Colorado, Minn, Milwaukee, etc., and that just seems a bit unlikely.

  3. How many more 6 figure contracts can we give out? Lester still owed 100m, Heyward, Darvish. Then gotta think we’ll pick up 1 more between Harper or Machado. What happens when Bryant, Contreras, Hendricks come off their rookie deals?

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