Although he’s coming off a down year (largely due to bad luck, it seems) and has just one year left before free agency, the both-feeted arrival of Manny Machado on the trade market is a big deal. A team acquiring him for 2018 will immediately have their projected fortunes changed in a dramatic way, and will have a slight foothold in the race to sign the 25-year-old to a long-term deal.
That is to say, I’d be following the rumors closely no matter what, but with the Cardinals adding Marcell Ozuna earlier today and now popping up in the Machado talks? That’s something we need to be monitoring.
Although nothing is necessarily close, offers are rolling in and there has been progress:
#Orioles making “good progress” on Machado trade. More than 5 teams interested at Degrees.
— Brittany Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) December 13, 2017
Duquette said he has had continual talks with teams about Machado and other players. Nothing seems imminent but they want to explore all options.
— Dan Connolly (@danconnolly2016) December 13, 2017
Sources: several teams have now made trade offers for Manny Machado
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 14, 2017
After conversations with team GM Dan Duquette, Eduardo Encina writes that a trade is unlikely to be completed before the Winter Meetings end tomorrow. In fact, Duquette indicated that things could go much longer than that: “Clubs are putting their teams together now, so that window of when teams are adding key pieces to their ballclub, it usually goes on now through the first of the year. At some point, you have to decide if you’re going to fish or cut bait, so that’s a little ways down the track.”
Teams will not dicker forever, but the artificial deadline of the “end of the Winter Meetings” won’t do much to accelerate movement. Instead, it’ll be the natural flow of talks, and the opportunity cost of other transactions not made while waiting on Machado.
As for the Cardinals, they make as much sense as any other interested team, and they are among the reported offers:
Several offers are on the table for Manny Machado – Cardinals, White Sox, Yankees, Phillies and Giants. #Orioles
— Dan Clark (@DanClarkSports) December 14, 2017
Ozuna is not a 2018-only piece for the Cardinals, but he is a free agent after 2019. That would seem to make the Cardinals slightly more likely to be willing to target an impactful short-term addition like Machado. There’s a small, perverse part of me that wants to see them do it, both because of the outsized prospect cost (the Marlins won’t be handling those negotiations), and because the Cardinals going balls out for 2018 will put the target squarely on their own back. From a fan perspective, it kinda sounds fun to head into the season with a very good Cubs team – a team you know has a chance to be a playoff club – looking “up” at the Cardinals as a paper favorite. And then beating them.
Like I said, it’s just a small part of me. Maybe I’m sleep-deprived.