As trade talks continue to swirl around the Baltimore Orioles leading up to the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, speculation mounts regarding third baseman Manny Machado.
Would the Orioles consider trading the three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove recipient? Buster Olney not only thinks Baltimore should trade Machado, but the ESPN analyst thinks the Orioles should send him to the Boson Red Sox.
Olney said in a Glenn Clark Radio interview July 20. “If you want to start to build a better future for the Orioles, you should have Manny Machado on the table now to get players like Rafael Devers.”
Devers started the season with Double-A Portland, where he excelled at the plate, recording a .300/.369/.575/.944 sash line in 77 games. He also participated in the MLB Futures Game and Eastern League All-Star Classic before being promoted to Pawtucket July 15.
But in order to potentially land Devers, the Orioles would need to be willing to not only trade Machado, but trade him to a division rival.
“I really feel like that attitude of boy, you can’t give a value player to a division rival because it will look embarrassing, it won’t look right. You know what? Get over it,” Olney said.
If the Orioles want an example of an inter-division trade that reaped benefits then they should look no further than, well, the Red Sox.
Boston traded star reliever Andrew Miller to the Orioles in 2014 when Baltimore was the team making a push for the playoffs. All Boston got in return was left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who is now in the Red Sox starting rotation.
Even if the Orioles do decide to trade Machado to Boston, Olney said it’s likely it would only be temporary, as Machado is certainly going to go into free agency after the 2018 season “because he has too much to gain by leverage.”
Trade talk surrounding the Orioles began after their three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs July 14-16 in which the Orioles were outscored 27-11.
Still, that talk has mostly centered on the club’s top relievers. According to reports, Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has permission from team owner Peter Angelos to pursue trades of relievers Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O’Day, as well as outfielder Seth Smith.
However, Machado reportedly remains off the table. Olney disagrees with that decision.
“I think that the conversation [about trading Machado] needs to take place,” Olney said. ” … Dan Duquette needs to go in the room and ask Peter, as a rhetorical question, ‘Peter, are you prepared to spend $350 million today on Manny Machado? Do you want to give him that contract?’ … And it would be absolutely a reasonable response if Peter said, ‘No, I’m not.’ … Well then the natural follow would be, ‘Well then we need to market him right now.'”
For more from Olney, listen to the full interview here: