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Report: Orioles face obstacles to trading Manny Machado before deadline

The Baltimore Orioles are confronted with two options concerning Manny Machado: Trade him ahead of the July 31 non-waiver MLB trade deadline or risk losing him for nothing once the superstar shortstop hits free agency after the 2018 season.

According to recent speculation from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles may find it difficult to achieve the former … at least for the haul the team craves and a player the caliber of Machado arguably warrants.

The Orioles will want at least the same kind of package the New York Yankees received two years ago for closer Aroldis Chapman. But such a deal might not be available based upon the modest returns last season for the two biggest rentals, outfielder J.D. Martinez and right-hander Yu Darvish.

Rosenthal goes on to note that the remainder of Machado’s 2018 salary also presents its challenges. Not only that, Machado’s desire to remaining at shortstop also conceivably could serve as a roadblock.

Yet, even though Machado is a singular commodity, the demand for him is not certain to be intense. He still will be owed just under $5.5 million of his $16 million salary at the deadline, putting him out of financial reach for some clubs. He also is intent on maintaining his commitment to shortstop, his original position, after returning to that spot from third base this season. The metrics show Machado is below-average at short, but a team that acquired him to play third would risk unsettling him, even if his lack of a no-trade clause would leave him powerless to stop such a move.

Despite Rosenthal’s reporting, it nevertheless would come as somewhat of a surprise if the Orioles did not figure out a way to deal Machado ahead of the deadline, even if that means accepting less than what the team arguably deserves from parting with such a remarkable talent.

There are not surprisingly no shortage of suitors, so perhaps the Orioles can orchestrate a bidding war despite coming off as a desperate team with limited options that will not achieve contending status anytime soon.