Orioles shortstop Manny Machado has been an absolute stud during his time in an Orioles uniform. The 25-year old is hitting an impressive .310 this season with 21 homers and 59 RBI. As the trade deadline approaches on July 31st, it’s time for the O’s to ship Machado off to another organization and begin their rebuild as they sit at the bottom of the AL East. Here are some possible destinations that the three-time All-Star could end up by the end of July.
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have been playing outstanding baseball as of late, but they are missing one vital part of their starting lineup; shortstop Corey Seager. The 24-year old is out for the rest of the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, so Machado could be a great replacement for the second half of the season, both offensively and defensively. LA moved Chris Taylor from the outfield to shortstop, but he hasn’t produced at the rate they hoped. Machado is a free agent after this season, so it would likely be a loan just for the rest of 2018.
Seager is their guy at short in the long run but Machado could be a piece that could help the Dodgers return to the World Series in October. Los Angeles would have to give up some top prospects to the O’s in return, so it depends if they would be open to that option. If a trade like this can help them win a title, they should certainly consider it.
The thought of Machado ending up in Chicago is mind-boggling, considering how good the Cubbies already are. But there is a possibility it could happen. Cubs shortstop Addison Russell has never been much of an offensive threat, but he has been good defensively. Russell has started hitting better as of late, but he is a career .247 hitter. If the Cubs were to make a trade for Machado, they would have to part ways with Russell. The thought of a Bryant-Machado-Baez-Rizzo infield is scary and could be the deadliest infield in the big leagues if the trade did happen. Russell could also still break out offensively, and his .286 average this year does look promising. Are the Cubs willing to trade Russell for Machado or do they think they have enough already to win it all in 2018? Only time will tell.
the D-backs are definitely a playoff contender this year once again, and they are in a similar spot as the Cubs when it comes to their shortstop. Nick Ahmed has been a mainstay defensively for Arizona but has never really stood out at the plate. Ahmed is a career .228 hitter and, at 28-years old, chances are that isn’t going to change.
Machado could step in and be an absolute stud for the D-backs, especially in the hot Arizona air. Arizona has a good taste in their mouth when it comes to making trades at the deadline for a star. Just look back to last year when they traded for J.D. Martinez, who came over from Detroit and hit 29 homers in the second half of 2017. Machado could very likely do the same, and playing in the warm weather in Arizona could help Machado hit even more bombs considering he’s used to playing in cold Baltimore. Arizona would have to send over some pitching to the O’s in return along with Ahmed, so it depends if they are willing to do so.
The Phillies are actually above .500 for once, sitting at 45-37 right now which puts them second in the NL East. They’re playing good baseball, and acquiring a bat like Machado could really help them be a playoff contender this year. In return, they would have to give up their shortstop of the future J.P. Crawford, who they took in the first round in the ’13 draft. Crawford is hitting under .200 this year, but he is young and does show promise. The Orioles have shown interest in Crawford, and he could really find himself offensively in Baltimore. The Phillies would have to give up some top pitching prospects in return, so it would depend if they really think giving up all of those pieces would be worth it to acquire a star in Manny Machado.
Who Will Win the Machado Sweepstakes?
For most of these teams, Machado would be a loan for the rest of the season considering he is a free agent after this year. But if a team like the Phillies, Diamondbacks, or Cubs did acquire the 25-year old by July 31st, they could try to sign him long term in the off-season considering they would be giving up their shortstops in return for Machado. The Dodgers are the only team who wouldn’t try to sign Machado to a big deal since they already have Corey Seager coming back from Tommy John next season
Whoever does end up getting Machado though will definitely be receiving a franchise-changing player who can impact the game in many ways at any given time.
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