19 December 2017

Avoiding A Machado Deal With The Yankees Won't Help The Orioles

In nearly every new development in the ongoing Manny Machado trade saga, there's usually a mention of how the Orioles are unlikely to trade him to the Yankees. That improbability is attributed to Peter Angelos's apparent unwillingness to make a significant trade with New York, and that he's wary of dealing with any team that could then flip Machado to the Yankees themselves.

It doesn't seem that many reporters expect that Angelos and his "trusted confidants" would approve such a deal, but it's at least possible
Even though [Dan] Duquette has said he will not rule out negotiating with the Yankees or Boston Red Sox, the idea of dealing a player of Machado’s profile to the Yankees would be a hard sell to Angelos, though it seems more likely now that he could be convinced if the Orioles receive the right return, according to a source.
Let's just make things clear: The Orioles should absolutely be open to dealing with the Yankees. As Eduardo Encina details above, the Yankees have some intriguing trade pieces that should interest the Orioles.

One of the big question marks hanging over the Machado ordeal is why the O's stopped approaching Machado's agent to try and get a deal done. In September, when it was reported that the O's had no interest in trading Machado, Jon Heyman noted this:
Of course, that doesn’t preclude a trade at next year’s trading deadline. The Orioles are said by sources to have come “within $8 million or $9 million” of locking him up a couple years back, though one person familiar with those talks said the offer was for “well below $100 million,” and that person suggested he didn’t believe the sides were especially close to a deal. However, it seems Machado’s side might have made some sort of counteroffer to stay, or at least provided parameters, since sources are suggesting the gap ($8 million to $9 million) existed.

Word is that Angelos, especially conservative when it comes to medical records (they’ve rejected several potential acquisitions in the past), was leery about Machado’s history of knee injuries at the time. Machado has shown he’s plenty healthy since, of course.
That's likely what Encina is referring to here: "The Orioles haven’t engaged extension talks with Machado in three years, last attempting them when he was returning from the second of his two knee reconstructions in 2014. They’ve had little more than a fleeting conversation since."

So what changed between now and then? Maybe that process soured the relationship between Machado and the Orioles. Maybe an extension was never that close. Or maybe Machado really does want to leave for a bigger market or doesn't think the O's can build a consistent World Series contender. We don't know these things yet, but I'll imagine we will one day.

For now, a couple things appear to be true. First, the Orioles are not going to sign Machado to an extension. That means after the upcoming season, he can sign with any team he wants. There's nothing the Orioles can do to stop that.

Second, the Orioles are not doing all they can to compete in 2018. Duquette talked about reloading, but the O's aren't doing that in any convincing way. They're just doing their own version of reloading, which apparently means not paying what it takes to upgrade an awful starting rotation and looking for any kind of overlooked value that can be had at a bargain.

The Orioles can control where they send Machado for the next season, and that's it. They could either hold on to Machado for the time being, or they can choose to take the best possible mix of major league ready talent and prospects -- which could come from the Yankees -- or to send him somewhere else, for a possible lesser return, out of spite. Think of how desperate the O's are for young, cost-controlled talent, and then think of them using this trade to stick it to the Yankees when they could simply sign Machado in a year.

The Yankees are going to be good. Their roster is loaded. It was already loaded before they traded for Giancarlo Stanton (which also seemed to set off an immediate shift in the O's strategy with Machado). The Yankees are set up to be very good for a long time, with or without Machado.

Maybe the Yankees sign Machado this offseason, or maybe they go in some other direction. But however good they end up being, the O's need to do everything possible to improve their own situation. If that means the best trade package from the Yankees is on the table, then so be it.

If you have no faith in that happening, I can't blame you. I don't really either. But until the options are gone, the possibility still exists that the O's could do the best possible things to set them up for future success. With the O's staring down another extended stretch of futility, I'll at least hold on to that hope for now.


Amoussou said...

Looking for "potential trade" grades here and likelihood of happening

i) Yankees offer Sheffield & Torres
ii) Yankees offer up Sheffield & Chance Adams
iii) Cardinals offer up Gomber, Hicks and Flaherty (to keep the Cubs from getting Machado)
iv) Cubs offer Montgomery, De La Cruz, Schwarber
v) Rockies offer Rodgers, Howard, Freeland
vi) Twins offer Gonzalves, Gordon, Vargas and get Machado and Trumbo
vii) Diamondback offer Banda, Drury and Corbin

Maybe a bit pie in the sky, but the longer this takes the more desperate the Machado takers will get to keep their opponents from getting their grubby hands on him. We'll see.

Pip said...

I have very little confidence, based on the past, which is full of very real examples of bad dealings and damn few good ones, that this will be adequately handled.
I agree, that if the Yankees offer a very good deal we should take it, however I certainly understand those who dread the idea of, not just watching Machado star for the hated Yankees, but the constant derisive laughter from Yankee fans and baseball in general.
I want a trade, but I would much prefer that it be with almost anyone else.

Pip said...

I think it is much more likely that the oriole desperation will grow much faster than the desperation of those who want to him.

Unknown said...

You absolutely consider a deal with the Yankees, but only if its a godfather type offer.

vilnius b. said...

"You absolutely consider a deal with the Yankees, but only if its a godfather type offer."
Does that really make any sense? Look at what the Marlins got in return for Stanton (and two years of control). Cashman clearly doesn't part with top prospects and major league ready players if the other team is the one that acts like its desperate to make a deal.
With the trade of Longoria to the Giants, the list of suitors just got smaller.
We should be happy if we can get one top prospect from the Yankees (e.g.,Gleyber Torres, Sheffield), a second tier prospect or a decent major leaguer in return for Machado.
Nonetheless, I share Matt's pessimism that such a deal will happen.
Somebody should remind Angelos that one season passes fast and that there's no guarantee that Manny will sign a contract extension with the Yankees (though the probability is pretty much the same that he ends up in pin stripes whether or not he's traded to NYY).