Are you there George? It’s me Nick.
I just wanted to say thank you for everything you’ve done for me over the years. Every time I find myself getting down I just turn to your Yanks. I fail a test and they give me a Championship, I catch a cold and they win the pennant, and now that I’m struggling mightily to land a job and move out of my mother’s house they gift me a Superstar to smile about (Stanton was a great early X-Mas gift). I know you’re not around anymore, but I can’t help but think somehow you’re still pulling the strings from the great ballpark in the sky. Talk to you again soon!
Now that we got that out of the way…
Since news broke earlier this week that the Baltimore Orioles were openly shopping their home-grown superstar, Manny Machado, teams have emerged left and right as potential suitors. All odds now seem to point to the perennial All-Star being moved within the next week or so. It makes you wonder why I didn’t include him in my Winter Meetings preview…oh wait…I DID!
So let’s pause for a moment to appreciate my greatness, and send salutations to the asshole at the barbershop who said “that’s not going to happen, you don’t know baseball”. Well sir not only do I know baseball better than you…but judging by that “shape up” you gave to your 11 AM appointment yesterday, I know a straight line better than you too.
With Machado being dangled before the rest of the league as the new off-season crowned jewel, let’s comb over his three known suitors. What can they offer? Why do they want him? Is this worth it? Let’s find out:
1. St. Louis Cardinals
- Offer: RHP Alex Reyes, RHP Jack Flaherty, and C Carson Kelly
- For all intents and purposes this is hands down the best offer that the Baltimore Orioles could possibly expect to receive for Manny Machado. If reports are correct and this is the deal that the Cardinals have proposed to the Os, then it is mind-boggling to me that they haven’t accepted it yet. In this package they get a pair of top-tier pitching prospects (they might not be ready for 2018, but 2019 sure ain’t bad), and they also get a young defensive minded catcher with the offensive upside to replace the hole left by Matt Wieters last year.
- Why the St. Louis Cardinals Want Him:
- The St. Louis Cardinals are a team that appear to be allergic to the term rebuild. After spending a season away from the limelight of October baseball, the Cardinals took the opportunity to evaluate what they had in some of their younger talent. Now they seem hungry and ready to chase down the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. The addition of Marcell Ozuna, and the pursuit of Wade Davis and other top-tier free agents prove just that. Adding Machado, whether it be at short or third, would instantly put them in the same tier as the 2016 World Series Champs.
- Should They Pull the Trigger:
- Are you kidding me? Nobody else in baseball should feel more inclined to take a chance on the now 25-year-old Machado. In a worst-case scenario, you rent him for a year in pursuit of a Division crown and World Series Championship, then you go your separate ways both having benefited from your working relationship. Best-case…you manage to re-up the superstar for the next 10 years or so and proceed to be World Series contenders for that entire stretch of time.
2. Chicago White Sox
- Offer: RHP Lucas Giolito or RHP Michael Kopech (Not Both) and other prospects
- Depending on which other prospects get roped into this deal truly will dictate whether or not it even gets a glance from the Orioles. As we previously established they want a pair of controllable, MLB ready arms along with a little added bonus. The Sox seem unwilling to budge on parting ways with both of their top pitching prospects, and if they don’t waiver on that, perhaps the inclusion of Starting Pitchers Reynaldo Lopez or Carson Fulmer along with maybe Outfielder Adam Engel will work.
- Why the Chicago White Sox Want Him:
- So the immediate fear here for all non-Yankee fans is that Chicago simply plans to use Machado as a chess pieces in their quest to acquire all of the games top prospects. By giving up a few of their young talents for Machado, they might be able to turn the tables and shop him to New York for the likes of Clint Frazier, Chance Adams, and Justus Sheffield. On the other hand however, they could be using the 1-year grace period as an opportunity to woo the 3rd Baseman/Shortstop in to buying the teams potentially bright future. The latter plan seems like a steep long-shot considering the fact that Machado is likely in a win-now mindset, but crazier things have happened I suppose. If it works out then Machado could very well be the center-piece of the White Sox organization for the next 15-years if they’re fortunate.
- Should They Pull the Trigger:
- So the biggest red flag, right off the bat here is what are the odds Manny Machado will resign with the boys from the South Side at the end of the year? After my rant about Stanton winning NL MVP, I think it’s safe to assume I don’t believe a great Machado year will put the ChiSox in playoff contention. So you’re not exactly renting him for a run at the World Series with the hopes of him sticking around. There’s a strong possibility that you’d just be forking over a handful of prospects mid-rebuild with no discernible return long-term. Life is about taking calculated risks though, and baseball falls under these guidelines as well. Against my better judgement…I’d say roll those dice and try to step into the next decade armed with a generational talent and a host of emerging stars around him.
3. New York Yankees
- Offer: OF Clint Frazier, RHP Chance Adams, and RHP Justus Sheffield
- If during the bit above this one, about the White Sox acting as middle men, you wondered why this wasn’t a possibility…oh trust me it is. As a matter of fact this potential-trade notification is probably the reason you even know about Machado being moved…or maybe you just read my article. Regardless of how you get your MLB news, the fact is the Yanks are absolutely players here. The package is a perfect fit for what the O’s seem to be after, but the hang up remains that trading within your division is an unwritten-sin in professional sports. A Yankee fan (like myself) would argue “But it’s not like they’re the Red Sox”, which sort of speaks to who we feel our only competition is. But to the rest of the division, and the rest of the majors for that matter, we’re still those god damn Yankees.
- Why the New York Yankees Want Him:
- If you ask the stereotypical Yankee-detractor this question, their answer will probably be riddled with expletives and be summarized as such: “so the rest of us can’t have him”. That’s not totally unfair, sometimes I do find amusement in the idea that my team is holding onto a valuable asset they don’t need just for the sake of playing keep away. In truth though the Bombers have a hole at third and some available cap room surprisingly, so why not fill that hole with the best potential option.
- Should They Pull the Trigger:
- Should the Os drop their boundaries long enough to agree to let Machado remain in the division, then their isn’t a shadow of a doubt that the Yankees should go all in on this. Of course I love Clint Frazier, and I have heard wonderful things about those pitching prospects we’d be parting ways with, but sadly me and the Bombers just care more about winning. This gives Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar an additional year to ready themselves for the big leagues, while letting the Yanks’ #ChaseFor28 go unabated. They can afford the $17 Million deal Machado will be on for 2018, and long-term they might be able to retain him using a swift combination of cash, prestige, and guaranteed stardom. More than anything adding Machado is about winning it all in 2018, and whether they can retain him beyond that is surely an afterthought in the matter.