“He’s an animal,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said of Orioles shortstop Manny Machado. “He hits just about everything in the strike zone. When he’s going good, he hits things out of the strike zone, as well. He drives the ball to all parts of the ballpark. Right now, he’s among the league’s like five or 10 best players.”

By Sam Bush

The Phillies and O’s were rained out last night in Baltimore, so Kapler was happy to talk about the O’s great shortstop.

With the Orioles (13-28) last in the American League East, flirting with MLB’s worst overall record, and Machado’s contract up at the end of the season, Baltimore could trade its star slugger before the July 31 trade deadline.

The Phillies (23-16) made a big offseason splash signing Jake Arrieta, and have enjoyed great production from guys like Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco.

Should the Phils remain in postseason contention, they could join the growing list of teams hoping to gain Machado’s services.

Shortstop is a position of need for the Phillies, with J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery struggling to make contact at the plate. The Phillies may not be World Series ready now, but add Machado to the heart of their lineup and suddenly things get interesting.