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Report: ‘Surprise entry’ emerges in Manny Machado sweepstakes

The Baltimore Orioles are expected to trade Manny Machado ahead of the MLB non-waiver trade deadline on July 31 to avoid the risk of losing him for nothing in free agency this coming offseason.

As rumors remain rampant and conjecture ramps up, a surprise entry reportedly has entered the fray in the sweepstakes to secure the superstar shortstop’s services.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman recently indicated that the San Diego Padres has emerged as a potential suitor for Machado.

“San Diego would seem to be a long shot; they wouldn’t seem to be a likely playoff team, Machado is a free agent after the year and the Padres would seem to have no hope of signing him up long-term,” Heyman writes. “However, the Padres have surprised before, signing Eric Hosmer to the biggest free-agent contract of the winter, and a couple years back making bold moves for Justin Upton, Craig Kimbrel and Matt Kemp.

“A Padres person characterized their contact as ‘due diligence’ and downplayed the possibility. It’s hard to completely discount them, though, since they have a great list of prospects and a willingness to take a chance.”

There has been no shortage of potential destinations for Machado if the Orioles elect to deal him as anticipated. While some front-runners have emerged, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette recently made it clear the team will be patient, saying that the Machado situation “will take care of itself in time.”

All that said, reports suggest the Orioles conceivably could face considerable obstacles in getting the value the organization craves in exchange for Machado, who is enjoying an MVP-caliber season, slashing at a .304/.371/.554 clip with 18 home runs and 53 RBI.