Report: Phillies, Brewers among ‘finalists’ for Machado
The race for Orioles superstar shortstop Manny Machado is definitely on now, as there are reports that two teams are among those that remain in the race to make a deal.
According to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers seem to be the two of the final horses in the race for Machado.
Olney also tweeted that the "Orioles are said to be "definitely motivated" to get a deal done ASAP, according to one evaluator familiar with the conversation."
With the Orioles reportedly making progress on deciding who has the best offer for their transcendent superstar, it's definitely interesting to note that the Yankees and Dodgers, who were thought to be major frontrunners for Machado, are not one of those two 'finalists' specified, however, there is still time for more of those finalists to be revealed.
Earlier on Saturday, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports tweeted that the Phillies were "said to be 'serious' in their Manny (Machado) pursuit and are thought to be running ahead of the Yankees and maybe most others at this point."
On Friday, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reported that the Phillies had increased their offer for Machado, showing their aggressive pursuit for the shortstop, ramping up the offer in order to outbid other teams. Following the initial report, Rosenthal also noted that the Orioles were going to take a closer look at the Phillies farm system.
Now, it seems as if the Phillies are in a position to completely overtake other teams in hopes that a trade for Machado will happen sooner rather than later.
While the Phillies are now considered to be favorites by many to acquire Machado before the July 31 deadline, it is still unclear whether or not the trade will include Baltimore's all-star closer Zach Britton, whom the Phillies have had a great interest in as of late.
As of right now, according to Jim Bowden of CBS Sports, the deal for Machado will not include Phillies' top prospect Sixto Sanchez, although the Orioles have been thought of to have an interest in Adonis Medina, the team's No. 2 pitching prospect.
The Orioles are definitely in the market for controllable starting pitchers, which the Phillies have a surplus of in their farm system, but it's still unclear who those starting pitchers would be, besides Medina.
While it seems unlikely that Machado will be dealt before Tuesday's All-Star Game, don't be surprised to see this summer's hottest commodity other than LeBron James be dealt pretty much directly after Tuesday's game.
Josh Liddick is a contributor to 97.3 ESPN and Sixers managing editor at SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoshLiddickTalk.