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Phillies trade rumors: Is a Manny Machado deal closer than ever?

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Sources are telling Phillies writers that a deal is nearing.

Gatorade All-Star Workout Day Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Monday was Day One of the All-Star break, and without real baseball to distract people, the trade rumors were flying fast and far.

On everyone’s mind is Manny Machado, and the Phillies have emerged as frontrunners. No, seriously! They have! I’m not making it up! They’re at the forefront of Machado trade talks, along with the Dodgers and Brewers. There have been conflicting rumors over the past few days about who has the strongest offer and who’s at the “10-yard line” and who’s fading into the background or being carted to the locker room or whatever.

To try and make sense of all the conflict, let’s focus on two Phillies sportswriting legends, Jayson Stark and Jim Salisbury, and the interviews they gave today.

Jayson Stark: “There’s a handshake agreement”

Jayson Stark went on WIP on Monday morning, and gave up some tasty tidbits about a possible Machado trade.

Hmmm, so there’s a handshake deal for Manny Machado with SOMEBODY, and Jayson Stark, a longtime Phillies writer and Philadelphia resident, knows about it. HMMMMM. [thinking emoji] [thinking emoji] [thinking emoji]

OH WELL NOW. That’s pretty obvious. Though he could mean that they’ll busy because they’re writing about how the Brewers got Machado, but somehow I don’t think that’s what he means.

Jim Salisbury: “I think they’re gonna get this guy”

It was Jim Salisbury’s turn on WIP on Monday afternoon, and he had even more specifics about what could possibly maybe happen.

That makes sense. As we all know, the Phillies have many former Orioles in the org, and they know Manny (I feel like I can call him Manny) and many of the current Orioles front office employees. I bet they’ve been dreaming about him for a few years now, since they left the Orioles to come to the Phillies. And when John Middleton wants something, he gets it. (But more about that later.)

Well, I want a million dollars. Unless the Phillies agree to take on a bunch of money or offer more prospects than I think they want to give up, Britton’s not coming in this deal. (I will gladly eat those words if the Phillies make it happen.)

I would be so sad to say goodbye to Maikel Franco, but there would be nowhere for him to play if the Phillies got Manny. He is what he is, and that’s totally okay, but it probably means that his time with the Phillies is over.

Oooh, actual names! This is getting serious, guys. And it tracks with a story from Jon Morosi later on Monday, that the Phillies are now willing to include Adonis Medina in the trade, which means the Phillies are now officially frontrunners.

Odds & Ends

Beyond Jim and Jayson, there were a few other interesting Machado-related tweets from Monday and the preceding weekend.

This backs up what Stark said on WIP, that the deal is done or mostly done, and will be announced once the All-Star festivities are through. SERIOUSLY IS THIS GOING TO HAPPEN!?

I deeply love this. Middleton has been described to me as obsessed with winning, and while he’s always had the cash to sign a big player, what he hasn’t had is a team that can contend and make his investment worth it. Now he has both, and you can practically imagine the Phillies checkbook burning a hole in his perfectly tailored pocket.

I’ve never met John Middleton, but I personally believe that he’ll stop at nothing to give the Phillies the best chance to win another championship. Money is no object, and if the Phillies don’t end up winning a World Series when it’s all said and done, it won’t be because he didn’t try hard enough.

We’re about to find out with the Phillies’ new-look leadership team can do when it comes to a high-profile trade for a valuable player. It’s going to be a long few days, especially as the trade rumors start to reproduce like tribbles and suddenly there are eight million of them, but I’m excited. It’s been seven years since the Phillies were major players in a trade deadline deal (at least on the talent acquisition side), and I’m going to enjoy every single minute.