The off-season rumor mill was rocked with a tweet by Buster Olney about the White Sox offer to Manny Machado.
The White Sox offer to Machado is for $175 million, over seven years. In some ways, their approach is like Boston's w/ J.D. Martinez last winter — the Red Sox offered $100 million and waited for two months. If CWS offer emerges as best, a big ? is: Would Machado/NYY re-engage?
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) January 16, 2019
Dodgers Nation then wanted someone to write an article about making the case for re-signing Machado. I volunteered as I have previously advocated for re-signing him. We then wanted to get some fan input so we put out a poll.
Given that the $ cost for Manny Machado has gone down, what are your thoughts about the Dodgers trying to sign him?
— Tim Rogers (SD Dodger) (@SDDodger) January 16, 2019
As the poll indicates, 66% of those who voted don’t want Manny for various reasons. I was actually surprised that the “Johnny Hustle” selection wasn’t higher. I’m sure some of the “$ should go elsewhere” want to sign Bryce Harper instead.
After that poll was posted, Manny Machado’s agent, Dan Lozano came out with a statement that the information was false. Who knows the truth but his statement is below.
Why The Urgency To Spend?
I am positive that there is a three year window left for baseball. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) ends after the 2021 season and then baseball will probably come to a long halt. After that, we do not know when baseball back. Corey Seager (along with Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen) is also eligible for free agency after the 2021 season and his agent is Scott Boras. Now is the time! The Dodgers can talk all they want about “revolutionizing the fan experience” but most of us want a World Series Championship.
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) January 16, 2019
Why Not Harper Instead?
Personally, I am all aboard getting Bryce Harper as he is a generational talent. However, everything has a price attached to it and if Machado can be signed for something like 7 years/$200M, then it has to be considered compared to a 10/$350M contract or more for Harper. I believe the Dodgers should sign either Machado or Harper, depending on what is, ultimately, the best value.
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Where Does Machado Play?
There are two positional options for Machado; shortstop and third base. If Corey Seager does not make a full recovery from Tommy John surgery then Seager goes to first base and Machado plays short. Seager is an elite hitter and he needs to be in the lineup. Maybe Seager could play second but that would also depend on his recovery from his injury.
The other option, if Seager can play shortstop, is for Machado to play third base. That moves Justin Turner to first base. No, I do not believe Turner would be an option at second base. In both of these cases, what happens to Max Muncy? Start playing him in left field in spring training and he could be ready for opening day. That would necessitate moving Joc Pederson or Alex Verdugo. I’d prefer trading Pederson as he doesn’t hit left handed pitchers and is limited to left field. With Machado in the lineup and Pederson is out then the lineup is much more balanced and in less need of platooning.
Essentially, it’s a good problem to have.
What About Johnny Hustle?
During his time with the Dodgers, Machado had hustle and cheap shot issues. Both of these are worth talking about. In terms of the hustle issue, he has had surgery on both knees. Many other players coast it up the line on infield grounders for various reasons so there is some inconsistency in picking on just Machado. However, the ball he hit in game 3 of the World Series that should have been a double was an awful look.
There were also the cheap shots during the NLCS against the Brewers.
To be honest I think the man is either a knucklehead or just has periodic brain fades. It will be interesting to see his final contract versus the expectations. I think the Dodgers can handle these issues but it can be an excuse to pay him less.
Some talk about Manny Machado as a top 5 player in baseball but I put him in the top 25. He will be overpaid by someone (so will Harper), but the market will dictate that they get paid handsomely. Signing Machado could give us a lineup like this:
Notice there doesn’t seem to be an immediate need to platoon. Machado brings excellent defense at third and good defense at short. For the right price I want Machado back with the Dodgers.
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