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Machado Must Be Traded

Ian Miller, Staff

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As of today, the Orioles hold a 17-41 record, placing them at the very bottom of the MLB standings. They are a mind-boggling 20 games out of first place, 22nd in league attendance, and now have a 0% chance of making the playoffs (according to FanGraphs). Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Zach Britton, and Brad Brach are all expected to leave for greener pastures in free agency. The analysts know it, the fans know it, and the Orioles know it: it’s time to sell.   

As far as pending free agents go, Manny Machado is an anomaly; he is a lock to leave Baltimore. Machado’s next contract is projected to be 10 year-$300 million contract. Some MLB sources believe his contract could be valued in the $400-500 million range. Either way Peter Angelos will not roll out the Brinks trucks for the third baseman turned shortstop. 

However, it cannot be said enough: Machado is a generational talent and a future hall-of-famer. So far this season the shortstop is hitting .327/.398/.633 with 18 homeruns. The All-Star is on track to hit 50 homers, and he will most certainly be in the MVP and Gold Glove conversations. If the Oriole’s front office does trade him, they would potentially be making the worst decision in franchise history. Machado is going to leave and a Machado-less Baltimore with top prospects is better than a Machadoless Baltimore without top prospects. 

Here are three potential trades for Manny Machado and the Baltimore Orioles: 

 

  1. Chicago Cubs: 

Manny Machado for Addison Russel(SS) and Oscar De La Cruz(RHP) 

Currently, the Cubs are in a dog fight for the NL Central division: they are 2 games behind the Brewers and 1 game ahead of the Cardinals. The Cubs will be looking ahead of the deadline to make significant upgrades to their roster. Bringing Machado into Chicago would instantly make them favorites to win the National League. 

The Orioles, on the other hand, acquire a franchise building block in shortstop 24-year-old Addison Russell and a high quality pitching prospect in De La Cruz. Russell, a below average hitter and above average infielder, is a major league starter who is controllable through 2022. According to MLB scouts, Oscar De La Cruz (who is 23 years old) can become a number 2 or 3 starter if he maximizes his potential. 

  1. LA Dodgers: 

Manny Machado, Adam Jones, and Mychal Givens for Walker Buehler(RHP) and Alex Verdugo(OF) 

After losing star shortstop Corey Seager to Tommy John surgery, the Dodgers are stuck at a dismal 30-30, fiercely competing with the Padres, Rockies, Diamondbacks, and Giants to take the NL West division. The Dodgers are desperately looking to ignite their offense and plugging in Machado and Jones into the starting lineup would surely do so. Mychal Givens, a 28-year-old relief pitcher, continues to get better every year, and would surely boost LA’s relief pitching. This trade would put the Dodgers back into World Series contention. 

However, the cost would be steep. Verdugo, a potential filled outfielder with a laser throwing arm, and Buehler, a potential Ace that can clock 100 MPH on his fastball, are the Dodgers top two prospects. 

Presumably, in this scenario, the Orioles would begin to build a fearsome starting rotation behind the likes of Walker Buehler, Dylan Bundy, and Hunter Harvey and a quality young lineup behind the likes of Alex Verdugo, Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle, and Chance Sisco. 

The Orioles would then most likely attempt to trade away Alex Cobb, Andrew Cashner, Chris Davis (if a trade exists), Jonathon Schoop, Zach Britton, Brad Brach, and Mark Trumbo. 

 

  1. St. Louis Cardinals: 

Manny Machado and Zach Britton for Jordan Hicks(RHP), Jack Flaherty(RHP), and Kolten Wong(Infielder) 

Currently, the Cardinals sit 3.5 games back from first place, trailing the Cubs and the Brewers in the NL Central. Last trade deadline and over the winter the Cardinals prepared packages for both Manny Machado and fellow all-star infielder Josh Donaldson. As the National League’s pennant race heats up, a multitude of NL teams will be attempting to acquire Machado, including the division rival Cubs. In this scenario, the Cards also receive all-star closer Zach Britton to bolster their World Series hopes.  

On the other hand, the Orioles would receive two top pitching prospects, something the Orioles definitely need. The O’s have also been salivating over Jack Flaherty since he was drafted in 2017. 

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