14 December 2017

Suitors Are Lining Up To Trade For Manny Machado

The Orioles may have waited too long to put Manny Machado on the trade block, but several teams are jumping at the chance to acquire him now. According to Bob Nightengale, the O's have received more than a dozen offers and could be nearing a deal soon:
As reported from the start, the Cardinals remain interested in Machado and have apparently made a "strong offer" for him. While the Yankees, Phillies, and now Giants are among the interested teams, the White Sox, surprisingly, appear to have made the best offer.

As we've previously discussed, if the O's are not interested or are unable to re-sign Machado -- and that appears to be the case, since they incredulously haven't had serious extension talks for years -- then they must deal him now for the best possible return. Letting Machado walk via free agency and getting only the draft pick compensation would be a failure of epic proportions.

If or when Machado is dealt, as painful as it would be, others need to follow him out the door. That means entertaining offers for Zach Britton, Brad Brach, Adam Jones, Mychal Givens, and others. And yes, that even means Jonathan Schoop. With two years left on his contract and him coming off a career year, Schoop has a lot of value. The O's shouldn't make the same mistake they made with Machado; Schoop should be moved for the best group of players. Don't be surprised when more players aren't moved, though, with more mind-numbing logic like this.

None of this would be easy, of course. Watching a winning ballclub is fun! Losing all of the above players would lead to a not very good team in a strong division. But it's the best course of action for a team with an uncertain future and several important impending free agents (including both Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter).

One final run at least sounded interesting when it was assumed the O's would take upgrading their starting rotation seriously. Unfortunately, that is not the case, with ownership again souring on three- or four-year deals after the failed Ubaldo Jimenez experiment (or simply just using that as a convenient excuse). The upper tier starters are always off limits, but now so is the tier below them (Alex Cobb, Lance Lynn, and the already signed Tyler Chatwood).

Duquette may not like the word rebuild. Peter Angelos clearly doesn't like to rebuild, either. Well, that's too bad. The O's inaction put them in this position, and the only way to get themselves out of another looming stretch of futility is to put their trade pieces together and get the strongest return. Add as many intriguing players as possible and hope a few of them pan out. The O's should have already considered this and been proactive, but it's better late than never.


Unknown said...

The White Sox are making offers? Wow. That could be huge and exciting. It seems as if Machado has hit max value for a return now, as opposed to at any point last season which is the reverse of what many insiders suspected.

If the Orioles do accept a dream offer, I'd definitely co-sign dealing away the bullpen. Plenty of value there. I would not however deal away Schoop. That's a bad move.

Schoop no doubt carries some value after last season, but I don't see a huge market for a second baseman/corner outfielder right now. Especially for a player who has only put up one remarkable season. Best case scenario is Schoop gets better and the Orioles get a higher return in the future, or sign him as a franchise player. Worst case scenario is that he regresses and goes from a mediocre trade prospect to a bad one. Wait and see with Scoop. You guys are so trigger-happy, geez.

Matt Kremnitzer said...

You want to wait for a potentially valuable trade chip to lose his value on a probably bad team? That doesn't make sense to me.

And no, I'm not usually trigger happy, but the O's are refusing to spend on pitching this year. Moving your best trade chips now seems to be the most reasonable path.

Unknown said...

Well this disagreement clearly comes down to Schoop's current value. What would you expect in return? I'd go with Two 'B/C' level prospects (grades of 45-50), with the potential to rise to one 'A' level (55+) by June, if Jon comes out red-hot in the first half.

Do you see an 'A' level prospect return for Jon Schoop right now?

Matt Kremnitzer said...

I think an A-level prospect is possible right now, yes, though others may disagree. Anyway, I wouldn't wait for the season to start and his value to deteriorate. I'd jump-start the rebuild right now. It doesn't matter, though, because the Orioles won't.

Unknown said...

Matt, while I agree with you that Schoop probably could return a high-upside prospect (either a tier-1 type guy or a high tier-2 who might be younger but projectable), I think Aaron's other concern is a real problem - I'm not sure the market is there to get max value. The O's big advantage here is that there are really 0 quality options at 2B available in free agency. The problem is that there aren't a lot of contending teams who need help in that spot. Conceivably the Nationals could want a defensive upgrade at second - and in spite of his uninspiring play there, Schoop would still represent a significant defensive improvement for them - but I don't see the O's and Nats coming to the negotiating table without a more glaring need to address. The Diamondbacks could be looking for an upgrade at 2nd, but they honestly only have 1 high-ceiling prospect in their system and, like it or not, the Chris Davis contract has the O's pretty tied up at first base for the foreseeable future. The Angels already got their guy, so I think the trade market for Schoop probably looks pretty much like the Mets and only the Mets. They already added one bullpen arm in Swarzak, but if I were trying to move Schoop I'd offer Sandy Alderson Schoop and Brach for Justin Dunn and either Gimenez and be willing to downgrade to Dunn and Guillorme. Or maybe if they think they can keep Schoop around and that he'll be able to stay at 2nd the Mets would offer Dunn + Cecchini. But that's pretty much the only deal I can see working out for Schoop.

Of course, the downside for the Orioles is that, again, there are no really decent options at second base available through free agency. If you got Cecchini back he can slot in from Opening Day, but outside of that it could get pretty ugly. You're probably racing every other non-contender in need of IF help for Neil Walker and hoping that works out. On the plus side, if Schoop leaves we can stop hearing Jim Palmer talk about how Schoop has the best arm of any second baseman in baseball. I mean seriously, he's been commenting in the AL East for decades, he's seen at least dozens of games featuring Robby Cano. If so many Orioles are the best in the league at various baseball activities as Jim Palmer is convinced that they are, how has this team lost so many games over the past 20 years?