We are still two full months away from the July 31 trade deadline.  While May 16th's Phillies game in Baltimore was rained out and the Phillies faced the Orioles just once at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, much of the buzz around the series involved Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. When the Phillies left town, they may have left with Machado on the mind.

Roch Kubatko of MASN wrote on Sunday that the Phillies could be considering engaging the Orioles about Machado:

According to industry sources, the Phillies left open the possibility of engaging in talks while they were in Baltimore earlier this month, and the Cubs contacted Duquette to express interest with an eye toward the non-waiver deadline. It’s only May 26. There’s nothing hot despite the Orioles’ last-place positioning in the American League East.

I’m also told that specific players haven’t been discussed.

Thanks to the rain delay, the Phillies and Orioles will attempt to do it again much closer to the trade deadline on July 12 at 6:05 p.m.

So far this season, pitching has kept the Phillies relevant, even spending Saturday evening into Sunday in sole possession of first place for the first time since 2011.  As the Phillies fell to the Blue Jays for the second time in three games on Sunday, they fell to a half-game behind the Atlanta Braves for first place.  But the series showed that they need some offensive help.

While the Phillies may hope to land Machado as a free agent this offseason, there will not likely be an offensive player available that is stronger than Machado at the trade deadline.  If the Phillies think that they may have a legitimate hope of contending for a title in 2018 when we reach July, the club could make a move now.

The Phillies will not want to blow their farm system apart for such a move, but like the 2015 Cubs, the Phillies could start working towards the playoffs now and be willing to trade some of the talent they have amassed over the last several season.  Should the Phillies find a trade match with the Orioles, they just may pull the trigger.

A lot can happen within the next two months, but the Orioles seem headed towards cashing in Machado and closer Zach Britton should he prove to be healthy.  The Phillies will surely be at the very least listening.

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