Report: Cubs to make Manny Machado “main target” this year

Rumors regarding the Chicago Cubs and shortstop Manny Machado continue to heat up and the latest from a reporter might sound like good news for Cubs fans.

Last week it was reported that the Cubs were interested in Machado and planned on talking to the Orioles about the star shortstop. Although Theo Epstein pumped the brakes a little bit during a radio appearance, it appears as if the Cubs really will make Machado a target.

Baseball writer Jon Heyman reported on Thursday that Machado is the Cubs “main target” this year. In a story for FRS Baseball, Heyman wrote that he’s hearing the Cubs have Machado at the top of their list:

Machado was speculated by FRS Sports a few weeks back as a likely candidate for the Cubs, with Addison Russell seen as part of a possible package for the Orioles, and word now is that he is the Cubs’ main target at the deadline.

The name that keeps coming up in any potential deal is current Cubs shortstop Addison Russell. The 24-year-old has struggled after his breakout campaign in 2016 for the Cubs but he is under contract.

Machado would likely be a rental as he is due to be a free agent following this season and has expressed interest in testing the free agent market. Epstein did mention the Cubs would not pay a premium price for another rental, similar to what they did with closer Aroldis Chapman.

Russell hasn’t played up to his potential and if he continues to struggle, the Cubs may be more willing to trade him for a player like Machado who is on a tear so far this season. Machado is hitting .342 with 13 home runs and 38 RBI through 42 games so far this season.

As we approach the deadline in late July, things will certainly start heating up regarding Machado and the Cubs.

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