23 June 2017

Should the Orioles Consider Trading that Machado Guy?

By now, you've probably seen or read David Schoenfield's column, adorned with the splashy headline: "Real or Not?  The Orioles should trade Manny Machado..."  Believe it or not, I have a few cents to weigh on the issue (and, I promise it won't be as rant-y as Monday).  

Before we begin to address this, let's preface the discussion with the reality that - even with their June free-fall - the Birds sit a mere 2.5 games out of the Wild Card.  So, in essence, they are really just one good week away from forestalling this conversation.  

Peter Angelos has been historically-adverse to the idea of selling, fearing repercussions at the box office.  Trading Manny, or even putting him on the market, would raise the biggest white flag possible.

As Mr. Schoenfield points out, rival-GM's aren't exactly camping out on Dan Duquette's doorstep to inquire about anyone else.  The list of Baltimore's needs dwarfs their assets.  And, unfortunately for them, other clubs know this.  

That, coupled with Manny's early-season struggles, will depress his value.  If he was killing the ball, right now, it would be a different conversation.  But, even a high school economics student could tell you it's bad business to sell off a stock when it's low.  

Having said all that, it's still Manny Machado.  Elite third basemen don't grow on trees, or at least any  botanical species I know of.  The main factor affecting trades is that his impending free-agency limits the number of clubs who would be interested.  Also, the other team would have to have a need on the left side of the infield.

And, they would have to believe one or both of the following items:

1) They will be contenders either this season or next
2) They think they can sign him to a long-term deal

On Baltimore's side, they would start negotiations by asking for the moon.  Their goal, first and foremost, should be to add as many blue-chip prospects as possible, in order to prop up their flimsy farm system.

Personally, given the Orioles' recent track record of developing and nurturing pitchers, I hope they make position players the centerpiece of any deal.  These days, clubs are holding on tight to those types of players.  Baltimore could reasonably expect to receive one A prospect and maybe one or two B-/C+ types in return.  

The number of teams that meet all those factors is pretty low.  My colleague, Matt Kremnitzer, wrote out one such scenario yesterday.  Houston would be an intriguing trade partner.  Here are a few scenarios with two other clubs: St. Louis and (yes) those damned New York Yankees. 

If they were going the pitching route, the Cardinals have a pair of SP prospects on the cusp of the big leagues in Alex Reyes and Luke Weaver.  The Cardinals aren't always big swingers on the trade market, but may feel pressure from their fan-base and/or ownership to shake things up after watching the Cubs become darlings of their division. 

As for a deal involving the Yankees, I understand the emotions as well as the practical issues involved (17 games against a motivated Manny = yikes).  However, they do have the trifecta of positional need (no offense to Chase Headley), positional prospects galore and, yes, gobs of money.  With the Yankees in contention for the pennant, would they consider parting with one or two of the following: Clint Frazier/Blake Rutherford/Gleyber Torres?

Obviously, this is all hypothetical.  Debating the merits of trades is probably America's second-favorite pastime.  As the clock continues to tick, the noise around Manny will only increase.    


Boss61 said...

I agree it is time to trade Manny, among others. In fact, it is past the peak time to do so in terms of return. To me, the ideal trade partner is a National League team and receiving two young club-controllable starting pitchers in return would seem the minimum price. I see bundling for perhaps a broader trade (Kim or Smith could go along with Manny for example) for the O's face a left side infield deficit in the near term without Manny and aging Hardy.

Anonymous said...

I ask again. Is there any possibility trading Machado would create more WAR going forward? Show me the analysis. What's the point of having a major league baseball team if you can't develop and KEEP a player like Manny Machado at least through his first round of free agency. If you tear down that far, who are you going to build around? David/Trumbo??? I guess we should have traded Ripken after his MVP season. That might have brought back a great haul of players.

Boss61 said...

You cannot keep a player who does not want to be kept. Culturally Manny probably prefers a bigger stage (New York, LA, etc.)

Matt Kremnitzer said...

Well, it's probably not practical for every team in the league to keep a player who's going to cost $250+ million. That doesn't mean an owner can't afford it, necessarily, but will you be able to build around a massive contract that Machado will command and then also Davis's deal? Maybe, but who knows what that would look like. All things being equal, of course fans would love to keep Machado around forever.

Anonymous said...

The two main teams I'd take a look at before the trade deadline in regards to a Machado deal would be the Rockies and the Astros. It'd be intersting to discuss him with other contenders like the Red Sox, Yankees, and Nationals, but I just don't see us trading him to any of those teams. Doesn't seem like something upper management would approve. Anyway, I'd actually target young bats, this has proven to be a stronger strategy in recent years than burning out more young arms (whole Cubs vs Mets development model)
a) the Astros
package: Alex Bregman, Derek Fisher, Forrest Whitley, Daz Cameron
I don't know if this is a little light in one direction, but getting an OF and 3B we can immediately plug into the lineup, a promising young pitcher, and a lotto ticket would be an ideal return for me

b) the Rockies
package: Trevor Story, Brendan Rogers, Ryan McMahon, Yency Almonte
on paper, this isn't a perfect match. However, I could see the Rockies jumping out of their shoes to add another potent bad to that lineup and replace a struggling sophomore (Story). In this scenario, Machado would move to shortstop

Again, I don't know if I'm overvaluing Machado, but especially that Rockies package would be intriguing. Story and McMahon could immediately take over the left side of the infield, Rogers could go to Bowie and make up a lineup top 4 of Mullins, Hays, Rogers, Mountcastle.
Almonte would be another nice lotto ticket...
If the package was too hefty for either of those teams, I would float Brach's name and see if another B prospect could be thrown in

Pip said...

I feel very strongly that Machado would fetch a ton, even from a team with a current competent 3b.
It is impossible he will be retained after next season, and the contention window is closing now, so no reason to keep him anyway.
Because after next year he's going somewhere else, I wouldn't mind trading him to the Bosox( haha what fun THAT would be)
But the return suggested in the article is too low. If Manny can't bring back what Texiera brought, Dan isn't doing his job.
Selling Manny is a no-brainer.
The main question is whether Dan's stupidity extends to insisting that the Orioles are buyers( i'm voting yes)
The second question is who to keep.
And the answer to that is "not many"