When a report from the Chicago Sun-Times surfaced on Tuesday that the Chicago Cubs were expected to talk to the Baltimore Orioles regarding a trade surrounding shortstop Manny Machado, many fans were intrigued.
Machado is set to be a free agent following season’s end and has already expressed the desire to test the free agent market. Acquiring a bat like Machado would cost the Cubs a current big leaguer and prospects. That might be a steep price for a rental player when there is no guarantee he would re-sign.
While many were discussing the possibilities, Cubs President Theo Epstein quickly pumped the brakess on those rumors Thursday morning.
Epstein appeared on 670 The Score’s Bernstein & McKnight Show Thursday and was asked about the possibility of the Cubs going after Machado. From the sounds of that, he’s not really ready to make that type of move again.
“Look, we’ve only paid a real premium for a rental one time, and that was when we traded Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman,” Epstein said via Bleacher Nation. “And that was a sort of special circumstance in our mind. We felt we had a team that was an extraordinarily strong contender for the World Series, but there were some things going on in our bullpen that led us to conclude there was going to be a real need down the stretch and especially in October, and if we didn’t do something, we weren’t going to win the World Series.”
The trade Epstein made to acquire Chapman back in 2016 paid off as the Cubs won the World Series. But it also cost them prospect Gleyber Torres who is off to a nice start for the New York Yankees.
Addison Russell’s name keeps being thrown around in potential deals as Machado would play shortstop. Russell hasn’t really become the player the Cubs hoped he would be as he’s struggled following that World Series year.
Despite Epstein pumping the brakes on this, there will certainly be more regarding the situation in the coming weeks. With Baltimore off to a bad start, Machado will be a hot topic as we approach the trade deadline.