The Baltimore Orioles will trade Manny Machado. It may not be today. It may not be this week. It may not be before the 2018 MLB season. But it will happen. The question is, where will the Orioles send their stud third baseman, who wants to go back to shortstop? Every team would love to have the 25-year-old hard-hitting Machado, but only one trade will be accepted by Baltimore. While some teams have submitted formal offers, others continue to do due diligence in waiting for the O’s to make a move. While teams such as the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers would love to make yet another big splash during this offseason, I do not expect Machado to be dealt to either of these giants.
Truthfully, the team with more than enough minor league prospects to get a deal done is the Chicago White Sox, although it remains to be seen whether or not Chicago would give up that much to acquire a player who is only under contract for one more season, even if that player is Machado. Due to recent trades, the White Sox are set up for a very bright future, but dealing a plethora of those such youngsters for one year of Machado would be viewed as unwise, at best. Unless they can get him to agree to some sort of extension, it just wouldn’t make sense.
That may be the case for most teams, unless it is a team going all-in for a run at a World Series championship this season. A team such as the St. Louis Cardinals, perhaps. The Red Birds are set up well for years to come, but after already acquiring Marcell Ozuna, St. Louis could really make a deep October run in 2018 with Machado in its lineup, provided the rest of the key players can remain healthier next season than in past years.
And while many other teams will likely make a run at trading for Machado, the Boston Red Sox cannot be ruled out in this conversation. Personally, I see it as unlikely that the Orioles will trade Machado to the Red Sox, or any other American League East team for that matter. But the Red Sox need offense. They need power. They need to find a way to keep up with the Yankees, who already acquired Giancarlo Stanton to go along with Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez in their new “Murderer’s Row” batting order. Boston is going after J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer, both of whom are older than Machado and will cost quite a lot through free agency. In fact, signing both Martinez and Hosmer could be akin to when the Red Sox signed Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. We all know how that worked out, and it was not positive.
At that point, the Red Sox should see if they can work out a long-term extension with Machado and send the Orioles what they want, in terms of prospects. If it costs Rafael Devers, then so be it. Machado is a generational talent who should be a perennial All-Star type of player for another decade. Give the Orioles what they want and improve your lineup.
Or, watch the Yankees continue to add to their already-amazing number of rings. Your call.