Another day, another report that the Brewers are checking in on the price of the biggest trade chip during this year’s trade deadline season.
Jon Heyman echoes Ken Rosenthal’s report from the other day that the Brewers are at least seeing what it would cost to acquire All-Star infielder Manny Machado. Just as Rosenthal described Milwaukee’s interest as “due diligence,” Heyman has an anonymous source who notes that the Brewers typically check in on everyone.
One person with Brewers ties pointed out Milwaukee is one of the teams that check in on just about every available player. Still, the reality is Machado could be a fit for a NL Central leader that seems ready to contend for a World Series title and is once again trying to hold off a stacked Cubs team.
The latest rumors indicate the Orioles may be looking to move Machado sooner rather than later, in order to maximize the return on the sure-to-be rental. It’s worth noting that today is the 10-year anniversary of the Brewers’ trade for CC Sabathia, which was made early in much the same way, giving the Brewers an extra couple of weeks of the lefthander -- which proved to be just enough to get them into the playoffs.
The longer Machado goes untraded, the louder the speculation will likely get, especially if the Brewers continue to see a black hole offensively at shortstop. Machado can play either third base or shortstop, but much prefers to play shortstop this year as he believes he’ll be able to make more on the free agent market if he can prove he’s still effective there defensively (and he’s right).
High-priced rentals haven’t really been David Stearns’ style to this point -- he’s tended to favor lower-level rentals, usually relievers and role players -- but we’re pretty much in unchartered territory with the Brewers right now. Yes, they were in a similar position at the top of the division this time last year, but that was a season in which any type of success was seen as gravy. Expectations are different this season, and maybe that will lead to a different approach to trade negotiations as we get closer to the deadline.