Philadelphia Phillies: Phils appear ready to acquire All-Star Machado

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles waits to bat against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 21: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles waits to bat against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on June 21, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Phillies currently sit atop the National League East at the break, but they could be on the verge of acquiring a star player.

The whispers began in the offseason before the dust had even settled on the Philadelphia Phillies’ rough 2017 season. It was a widely known fact that the 2018-19 season and the 2019 offseason could feature a historic free-agent duo in Baltimore Orioles’ shortstop Manny Machado and Washington Nationals‘ outfielder Bryce Harper. But would the Phillies be buyers?

The Phillies were solidly in rebuild mode coming into the 2018 season, having just hired a rookie manager and hoping to improve on a year where they lost 96 games. Many predicted that because of the Phillies relatively low payroll, which is currently a little over $86 million, they would be in a perfect position to jockey for one of the mammoth free agent players at the conclusion of the 2018 season.

The Phillies’ timeline for their rebuild appeared set to get underway in just under a year. The only question would be how much they were willing to spend to try to get one, if not both players.

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Fast forward to the 2018 All-Star break, and that timeline has been accelerated. The Phillies are 53-42, and currently, sit in first place in the National League East. It certainly appears that the club has exceeded expectations about a year ahead of schedule, as few predicted that this team would be this good through the first half of the season.

But along with that unexpected success comes a certain amount of pressure for general manager Matt Klentak. Klentak, to his credit, has said all along that if the team continued to do well, that the chance to improve the team through a trade would very much be a reality. After all, it’s often hard to predict when a team’s window will open or close. Teams can get hot at the right time and ride that wave of success to a championship, regardless of the sport.

Enter the Machado rumors, which, despite surrounding the Phillies for almost the entirety of the season, appear to have reached a boiling point. It feels like the Phillies have been a frontrunner for Machado all season, and the debate has raged endlessly on between those that believe the Phillies should trade whatever assets they can and those that feel trading for Machado now would be an utter mistake.

On Monday morning on the Ike Reese and Jon Marks WIP afternoon show, evening host Joe Giglio reported that a source told him that a deal involving Machado to the Phillies would be announced as early as Wednesday morning. Soon, other outlets began to run with the rumor, however, there still appears to be some doubt as to whether an actual deal has been negotiated.

It appears that we won’t know anything until at least after the All-Star game, but it certainly feels like Machado has played his last game as an Oriole. To what level the Phillies are involved also remains a mystery, but one thing is clear: the team is without a doubt a player in the Machado sweepstakes.

The Phillies appear ready to do what it takes to land the All-Star shortstop. Conventional wisdom would say that the Phillies front office knows what it is doing with Machado and that it wouldn’t risk losing prospects and players in a trade only to have Machado walk during the offseason.

No, if Machado comes to Philadelphia, I believe he will stay. He has a rapport already with Andy MacPhail, and he’d be joining a team with a ton of promise and one that has a great shot at this point to win their division. If Machado wants to join a franchise committed to winning in a city that loves its winners, he’d be hard-pressed to do better than Philly.

Next: 3 reasons a Manny Machado trade sounds perfect right now

The next 24 hours should prove to be very exciting for fans of the Philadelphia Phillies.