Manny Machado might have had a down 2017, but that’s a distant memory at this point. The slugging shortstop — remember, he moved from third to short this season for the Orioles — is batting .309/.379/.555 with 21 homers, a figure that has him on pace for a career-high in dingers. His OPS+ is 157, which woud also be a career-best, and he’s all of 25 years old: whoever deals for Machado might ingratiate themselves enough to be able to re-sign him this winter when he’s a free agent, locking him up through the years of his career most likely to resemble this one.
His defensive metrics say shortstop hasn’t been great for him, but if you’d like to know how I feel about half-a-season of defensive wins above replacement being the reason a team doesn’t make a trade for someone with Machado’s bat and typical defensive reputation, well, just know I rolled my eyes and derisively smirked while typing this paragraph.
Given the interest in Machado through the early portions of July, I’m not alone in ignoring those figures, either. The Brewers have reportedly already made an offer for him, as Orlando Arcia has led their team in playing time at shortstop despite an OPS+ of 29 (not a typo). Whitney McIntosh felt this was one of the most realistic rumors we’ve seen out there, too, given the Brewers’ needs and their ability to pay the O’s to get Machado.
The Yankees are also lurking around Machado again, and while they might struggle to bring him in as a free agent this winter given they already have a shortstop in Didi Gregorius, and short is where Machado wants to play, as far as this summer is concerned they’ve got as good of a chance as anyone to pick up Machado... barring a veto from anti-Yankees owner Peter Angelos, anyway.
Five other teams besides the Brewers have reportedly made offers for Machado, too, so it’s not just New York and Milwaukee who are circling. The Dodgers, D-Backs, Phillies, Braves, Indians, and Cubs have also tried to formaly acquire Machado, and there are sure to be more offers in the near future.
Machado is a game-changing player, the kind who can tip the scales in a tight division race or give a team the extra bat they need to advance in the postseason. Someone is going to blink eventually and give the Orioles what they want, because there isn’t another Machado out there this summer, and it might be soon.