Report: D-Backs are most persistent team pursuing Machado
Brian Blanco / Getty Images Sport / Getty

While the New York Yankees have been rumored to be trying to acquire Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles, the Arizona Diamondbacks are said to be the most persistent club pursuing the 25-year-old infielder, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Although no deal is close, shipping Machado to the National League could be preferred, as Orioles owner Peter Angelos is said to be opposed to trading the superstar within the division.

Machado is set to become a free agent at the conclusion of the 2018 season, and re-signing with Baltimore seems remote based on the contract offers he's likely to entertain.

While manager Buck Showalter will have the final say, Machado has been clear about his wish to return to his natural position of shortstop. With Tim Beckham as the club's shortstop, moving Machado would leave a notable vacancy at third base.

The Diamondbacks employ Ketel Marte at shortstop, who came over last offseason as part of the trade with the Seattle Mariners involving Taijuan Walker and Jean Segura. The 24-year-old played 73 games last year and hit 11 percent below the league average by wRC+ and was worth 0.9 WAR.

Despite interest around the league, rival executives believe Machado will be on the Orioles' Opening Day roster, according to Rosenthal. With Showalter and general manager Dan Duquette in the final year of their deals, and Machado, Adam Jones, Brad Brach, and Zach Britton entering the last seasons of their contracts, the Orioles could enter a transitional phase.

In 156 games last year, Machado posted a .259/.310/.471 slash line over 690 plate appearances. The two-time Gold Glove winner had a down year at the plate, despite hitting 33 home runs.

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Report: D-Backs are most persistent team pursuing Machado
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