Ken Rosenthal reports Phillies have upped Machado offer
The roller-coaster saga that is the Manny Machado sweepstakes appears to have taken another wild turn, this time back in the Philadelphia Phillies favor.
On Friday afternoon, MLB insider Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweeted out that the Phillies “have increased their offer” for Machado. The information came to him from “sources”, and few in the business have more, or more reliable, than Rosenthal.

#Phillies have increased their offer for #Orioles’ Machado, sources tell The Athletic. #Dodgers and #Yankees remain strongest. #Brewers fading, #DBacks on periphery.
Standard caveat applies: Trade talks are fluid, and one text or call can change dynamic of discussions.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 13, 2018

Immediately following Rosenthal’s message, Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors speculated as to the pieces that could be in play from a Phillies perspective.

“Suffice it to say, there are plenty of moving parts on the Machado front. Baltimore has been said to be keen on acquiring controllable starting pitching, and the Phillies have plenty of options in that regard, as do the Brewers, Yankees and Dodgers.

It’s not yet clear what, precisely, the Phillies (or any team) is willing to offer up, though the Phils have intriguing young rotation pieces in the form of Zach Eflin and Enyel De Los Santos, each of whom has already pitched in the Majors this season (extensively so, in Eflin’s case). Right-handers Sixto Sanchez and Adonis Medina are each considered to be among the game’s top 75 or so prospects, and the Phils have a number of MLB-ready back-of-the-rotation options on the 40-man roster who could be secondary pieces (e.g. Ben Lively, Jake Thompson, Drew Anderson, Mark Leiter Jr.)”

In a piece just yesterday, another major baseball insider, Jon Heyman of Fancfred Sports, said that the Phillies were suffering from “too much timidity” in handling Machado negotiations with the Baltimore Orioles.
After lauding the club for bursting into contender status this year, he also expounded on their need to bring in a player with Machado’s impact. In doing so, he compared the Phillies situation to that of the recent Sixers pursuit of LeBron James:

“They may just be playing the game, but based on the snippets heard so far, they sound a little too much like another Philly team, a particular NBA franchise that resides across the street. Perhaps they are too married to a process, a little too mechanical.”

UPDATE: Rosenthal and Heyman each followed up with tweets in the late afternoon on Friday:

#Orioles have ramped up background work on #Phillies prospects, responding to Phils’ increased interest in Machado, sources tell The Athletic. Phils won’t move RHP Sixto Sanchez but are willing to trade from SP depth from Low A to AAA. RHP Adonis Medina of interest to O’s.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 13, 2018

Phillies are said to be making some progress in Manny talks with O’s. Machado is a great fit, and Phils people know MM best (after the Orioles). Plus, word is Phils owner Middleton is thought to want to “make a splash.”
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 13, 2018

If the latest report from Rosenthal is on target, then it appears Matt Klentak and his management team with the Phillies may be loosening up. The fact remains that based on their own needs and desires, and both their financial and prospect situations, the Phillies will remain major contenders for Machado unless or until he is dealt elsewhere.

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