Yes, the Chicago Cubs would love to trade for Manny Machado, so yes you should believe Jon Heyman’s latest report that says the Baltimore Orioles star is their main target at the trade deadline.

The trade rumors keep heating up and before it was simply speculation, throwing out possible scenarios for the Cubs to get Machado, but now Heyman is taking it to the next level.

Sit back Cubs fans because it sounds like the Cubs are hot and heavy for Manny.

Via FanRag Sports.

The Chicago Cubs will take a look at acquiring superstar shortstop Manny Machado, sources say. 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.

Machado currently has a slash line of .342/.422/.652, with 13 home runs, 11 doubles and 23 walks in 42 games this season. Hell yeah the Cubs would want to trade for him.

HOWEVA!

I also believe in Theo Epstein 100 percent and just last week he said the following about trading away young players and prospects for half-year rentals. Machado will be a free agent at the end of this season.

“As a rule, we will not be paying premiums for rentals,” Epstein said. “We just won’t. It’s hard to build an organization that way. Let’s be honest: We’ve poured a lot of resources into this team and this group, a lot of crazy dollars and a lot of trade resources. We’ve made a number of trades over the last few years. If we play ourselves into a position where we can benefit from some improvement and we’re a legitimate championship contender, absolutely we will be pushing the envelope to try to get better. But that will probably not include paying a significant premium of future assets for a rental, because we have to build this organization and keep our focus on this group and this year’s team and the immediate future in the next couple years but also keep an eye on what’s going to happen after 2021. We can’t be sacrificing all of our future assets in drafting guys exclusively to trade them. We can’t do that. We have to build farm system. It’s been used quite a bit to support this group, and we need to start growing the farm back as well.”

(Theo Epstein)

You can hate Addison Russell’s off-field shit all you want, or be disappointed in his .718 career OPS, but no one is just trading away 3.5 years of at the minimum elite defense at shortstop under team control and then a few more guys for half a year of Manny Machado, even as great as Machado is.

The payoff simply isn’t enough with Machado most likely leaving somewhere else in free agency. He can love his time with the Cubs and the city of Chicago all he wants, but that by no means guarantees he’d re-sign. Then you’re left with Javier Baez, who is great at second base, as the shortstop, where he’s not as great, and a combo of Ian Happ and Ben Zobrist at second next year? The defense would suffer.

But hey, I’m not Theo Epstein or Jed Hoyer, I have no clue what they’ve internally determined is Russell’s ceiling. Maybe they think he won’t get any better and are willing to deal him away.

Yet, based off the comments and their track record of transparency I don’t see a trade for Machado that involves 24-year-old Addison Russell.

Now, if the Orioles get desperate, I’d love to see what Theo tries to pull off.