17 July 2017

Does a Trade Market for Manny Machado Even Exist at the 2017 Trade Deadline?

Following a sweep at the hands of the Cubs and losing 8 of their last 10 games, the Orioles pretty much find themselves out of the playoff race. They are tied for last place in the AL East and sit 8.5 games from first. The wild card position(s) are essentially lost as well, as the team is behind by 6 games, with the additional daunting task of having to pass 6 teams currently in front of them to grab that second spot. Fangraphs gives the Orioles a 2.8% chance of them making the playoffs in any form. The only teams in the American League with a smaller chance are the Athletics and White Sox.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles are preparing for what a lot of us had already believed.

Manny Machado (photo via Keith Allison)
The Orioles could go a number of directions as they start selling of pieces, and Camden Depot has looked at several players who could (and should) be traded at the deadline already. Of course, the biggest asset the Orioles have to trade is Manny Machado. A trade of Machado would be the best way to inject some life into the Orioles somewhat barren (but likely slightly improved) minor league system. But is there even a market for Machado at the 2017 trade deadline?

AL East

Machado would actually be a good fit for the Yankees or Red Sox, as they both have a glaring need for him and they would have the needed prospects to get him. The Rays could use him at shortstop, but … you know what I am just going to stop myself there because a trade of Machado within the AL East is just not happening.

AL Central

In the AL Central, Machado doesn’t represent an upgrade at SS or 3B for Cleveland, so they’re out. The Twins are in contention, have the prospects/players to make a deal, but probably won’t want to part with the necessary pieces to get Machado as they are very early in their rebuild and playing over their heads. The Royals could use an upgrade at SS, but probably don’t have the players (in the minors or on the major league team) to make a deal work.

AL West

The Astros would be a good fit for Machado, and Matt and Jon worked together to come up with a possible package that would likely get a deal done a couple of weeks ago. The problem is since the Astros already have the division locked up (and are REALLY good already), they don’t NEED Machado and may not be willing to give up a big package for him as a result. The Mariners and Rangers aren’t good fits, seeing as they’re on the edge of contention and also have pretty good players locked in to both the SS and 3B positions.

NL East

The Nationals don’t have a spot for Machado, and have other more glaring needs to fill (which they may have just done). The rest of the division is terrible.

NL Central

The teams in the NL Central don’t appear to be fits either. The Cubs infield is already full and they need pitching. The Brewers are in a similar spot as the Twins (they are early in their rebuild). Additionally, third baseman Travis Shaw has been a more than a full win better than Machado in 2017, and shortstop Orlando Arcia is playing better lately as well, so it’s arguable that the 2017 version of Manny Machado wouldn’t even be an upgrade. The Cardinals could use Machado, but their 2017 playoff odds aren’t too great either, so they are unlikely to make that deal.

NL West

In the NL West, there are no contending teams where Machado would be an upgrade at 3B. The Diamondbacks and Rockies could use him at SS, however, they are clearly out of the division race and would probably balk at giving up a substantial package of players for Machado, only for the opportunity to reach the wild card game.


So, was this article a futile exercise? Absolutely! I don’t believe the Orioles will be trading Manny Machado at the 2017 trade deadline, and word on the street (according to Ken Rosenthal) is that the Orioles aren’t even considering it. However, even if they were, the market for Machado this year just doesn’t appear to be there (it obviously hasn’t helped that he’s having a down year). The best fits are in the AL East, which as stated before, is not happening. Houston is probably the most realistic destination, but they’re roster is so good (and incredibly deep), that they don’t need him (they also should be focused on pitching instead). The market for Machado just isn’t there at the 2017 deadline, so even if they Orioles would want to trade him, they’d be better off waiting until the offseason.


Anonymous said...

I believe you might be overlooking Atlanta - a team on the rise with a glaring hole at 3rd, the farm assets to trade, and looking to make a big free agent splash about the time Manny becomes one. They might be able to get him for less now and sign him on their own as an internal sign later when he becomes a FA. Just the kind of move Coppolella might make.

Unknown said...

I have no doubt that Atlanta would be interested in him when he becomes a free agent. No chance they would give up assets for him at the trade deadline this year though. They could possibly be a trade partner in the offseason depending on how close they feel they are to competing next year

Ace said...

Very good points on the lack of market for Machado. Even if there were a market, I'd be against trading him unless there was a crazy god-father type offer involved. Start with the other two pieces first (Britton, Brach) and see what you can get in return.

For Britton I see an A level plus a B level prospect haul at the least. Brach would likely net a return of two B level prospects at most. So If both players were sold, the O's potentially receive one A level prospect and three B level prospects. Not bad, especially considering the O's bullpen is not left in shambles.

I also like the call of not making Givens available. He has improved each season, has youth on his side and is cheap for years to come. He also probably hasn't generated the market value of Brach yet. Let's see how the farm system looks after a Britton, Brach sell off before making a move on others.

Pip said...

Excellent article.
You have convinced me. I was all for trading Manny, but you made it clear that where there is no market, there's no return, so we might as well wait until next year or the off-season.
I guess part two of this article will be who's going to need a third baseman or shortstop next year.
Beltre has to retire one of these days doesn't he?