Major League Baseball’s non-waiver deadline is inching closer. With it comes the inevitable trade of Orioles superstar Manny Machado. And while the sweepstakes are heating up, there could be a road block or two in the way for any potential suitor. Yesterday it looked as though the Los Angeles Dodgers or Milwaukee Brewers were most likely to land him. But then the New York Yankees would entered the fray, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.
However, the 26-year-old Machado is adamant about two things. First, he’s not going to re-sign with anybody this offseason. In other words, he’s going to hit the open market no matter what. But two, and maybe most importantly, he’s a shortstop. He wants to play shortstop regardless of where he lands. Per David Lennon of Newsday Sports:
“Manny Machado at least sounds uninterested in moving back to third base — even for a contender — when he was asked about it after tonight’s game. … ‘I’m a shortstop,’” he said. ‘I play shortstop.’”
But the Yankees already have Didi Gregorius at short; he’s not going anywhere. That’s why the Dodgers and Brewers represent the better fit. Chris Taylor has logged 54 games at short this season but his versatility allows him to play elsewhere. With Yasiel Puig now on the DL, he could slot into the outfield more often than he already does.
As for the Brewers, Orlando Arcia is a defensive stud and not even 24 years old. Yet he cannot hit a lick (.246/.293/.362; .655 OPS in nearly 1,000 plate appearances). If he’s not part of a Machado trade package, they’re better off giving him more time to figure it out in Colorado Springs.
In the meantime, Machado is having himself a career year. He’s slashing .309/.379/.555 (.934 OPS) with 20 doubles and 21 home runs. His walk rate is up while his strikeout rate is down from a season ago — over three full percentage points both ways. His wRC+ of 149 would stand as a career-high and it’s not particularly close.
In other words, Machado is going to make one team very happy at the trade deadline.