Thursday, January 11, 2018

My Thoughts On Trading For Manny Machado

What do you think when you see this batting lineup?

1. Brett Gardner LF
2. Aaron Judge RF
3. Manny Machado 3B
4. Giancarlo Stanton DH
5. Gary Sanchez C
6. Didi Gregorius SS
7. Greg Bird 1B
8. Aaron Hicks CF
9. Gleyber Torres 2B

Do you think about the 2018 Yankees taking down the team home run total record, the one currently held 1997 Seattle Mariners? Do you think about leading the league in runs scored... and by quite a bit? Do you think about opposing pitchers shaking in their cleats at facing that juggernaut?

Because I do.

That lineup would tear apart every single pitching staff in baseball. There's a very strong chance that four of those nine start the 2018 All Star Game. And three of those players could finish in the top five of American League Most Valuable Player voting.

And you know what? I don't want it.

Well, I should clarify that... I don't want that in 2018. See, a year from now I'm going to be all aboard the "Sign Manny Machado" train. But trading for Machado is not something I would do.

To start, acquiring Machado via trade would cost a lot in prospects. The Yankees were able to get Stanton for cheap due to the huge amount of money remaining on Giancarlo's contract, but that's not true with Machado. Not that Manny's going to make peanuts in arbitration this season (MLB Trade Rumors projects Manny will make $17.3 million), but it's a far cry from the $295 million remaining on Stanton's deal (which includes the buyout of a team option for 2028). Machado's large salary this season may reduce his price some, but he'd likely cost some big prospects such as Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Chance Adams, and more.

Speaking of those big prospects that would have to be dealt to Baltimore to acquire Machado, do you really want them facing the Yankees? I don't mean to say the Orioles would be a threat to the Yankees, but just the idea of facing Chance Adams, while Clint Frazier and Miguel Andujar bat against us, is a bit unsettling.

Secondly, while that lineup I posted to start this article is incredible, the Yankees offense is already going to be ridiculous this season. The Steamer projections (provided by Fangraphs) have the Yankees hitting 249 home runs this season, and seeing as how Judge is predicted to only hit 37, that prediction may be a little low. So while adding Manny Machado to the lineup would make any Yankees fan salivate, it's not at all necessary. Why trade such great prospects for a total luxury?

Not only would the Yankees lose great prospects in a trade for Machado, but there's no guarantee Manny would be a Yankee beyond 2018. I can't imagine Machado would pass up free agency, especially when another large payroll team in the Dodgers is primed to spend next offseason as well. I suppose if the Yankees are able to negotiate an extension per the terms of the trade then I could live with it, but this type of acquisition should be about the future... not just 2018.

And let's not forget that dealing away some of those big prospects for Machado could just open up questions about other positions in the future. For example, if the Yankees trade Clint Frazier as part of the deal, then what happens with left field in 2019? I've come to like the idea of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton filling the right field and designated hitter roles regularly, as I'm not convinced either man could handle left field well. Add in the fact that Brett Gardner will be a free agent, and turning 35 in August, I think his time in New York will come to an end after this year. Wouldn't it be great to have Clint Frazier around to step into that role? And who knows what the rotation may need, meaning having guys like Chance Adams that could step in could be huge.

Look, scoring runs is not going to be a problem for the 2018 Yankees. So why spend so big just to score a few more? On that note, the starting rotation as is looks pretty darn good to me, so why spend big on that? I know as well as anybody that this offseason has been incredibly boring, but let's not allow our desire for something to happen cloud our judgement.

The 2018 New York Yankees are legit contenders to win the World Series. The future of this team is blindingly bright. And that might lead to a boring offseason, and boring offseasons to come. But it's not about what happens between the last game of the World Series and Opening Day... it's about what happens between Opening Day and the last game of the World Series.


  1. I understand your perspective, to a point. Here's another...

    1. It is possibly cheaper next year (2019) for the Yankees to get Machado this year (2018) instead of waiting until next (2019). If we get Machado this year it increases the likelihood of winning the world series. If we do, why would Manny want to sign anywhere else next year? He also may do it for less because he won't want to leave, and we know the Yankees will come up with a backup plan at 3rd by next year to put pressure on that. So I'd rather get him this year and have a better chance at winning the series with him to potentially get him cheaper next year, than to not have him this year...potentially not win the series and then have him want to use joining other teams in free agency as leverage.

    2. I don't think that Clint Frazier would be part of a trade deal for Machado this year. Of course the owner of the Orioles doesn't want Manny to go to an AL East rival, especially the Yankees, however, they may not have a choice. Their 3, 4 and 5 spots in the rotation are open and if Manny goes, so will 3B. So, I see this deal getting done with pitching prospects, and maybe Andujar (who could be that leverage I mentioned above next year if we don't trade him). If the Yankees can get Machado to sign an extension (which could happen because he has publicly said he wants to be in pinstripes) THEN I would think that Andujar would definitely be part of the deal.

    3. Pitching. I like Tanaka, but he had one of his worst seasons in 2017. CC is back (pitching wise) but he had THREE bad seasons in a row, has problems with his knee, and is good...but not intimidating. Gray is very good, not intimidating. Montgomery/Green are both great, but they are young and anything can happen...look at Severino in 2016. Severino is currently our ace, which is a little scary because Tanaka should be. Sevy had a great 2017, but who's to say it will continue in 2018? Our rotation, although great on paper, has been prone to injuries and inconsistencies. Having one or two more horses and making CC a long reliever/spot starter would add security. Frazier gets dealt in a pitching trade, as does Hicks. Which leads me to...

    4. I like your lineup a lot and I like Hicks, but I have a feeling he's worth more as trade fodder at the moment. I think the outfield will be Stanton (LF...he said he'd play anywhere the Yankees need him), Gardner (CF), and Judge (RF). Ellsbury will either be benched or they will convince him to leave. If they do convince him to leave then some of that money will be used to get Darvish. Then, who will be our 4th OF and DH? Billy McKinney. He's proved himself as a great out fielder, he hits for power, and the Yankees were supposed to be training him to be a backup 1st baseman, as well. So McKinney will be 4th OF, backup 1B, and possibly DH. ...and we still have Florial.

    I think there's a lot more big stuff coming before p and c report.

    Remember the Yankees are ALL IN this year. Their attitude is that they WILL WIN the world series, not just contend. That means Manny MUST happen. Just my opinions/predictions.

    P. S. We'll find replacements for any prospects we trade, we always do.

    1. Nice reply. thanks. I felt I should give you a good, thorough, response.

      You've hit upon a problem for the Yankees...

      While your point about the Orioles looking for pitching before hitting, particularly in the outfield, is very valid, pitching depth would be an issue after such a deal.

      For the record, I included Clint in this possible deal due to him simply being thier top prospect after Torres... and there's no way Gleyber is going anywhere. And a team dealing away a player of Machado's caliber should ask for the best, then figure it out later. The O's could always flip Frazier for a starter, or move him or Mancini to RF to fill the absence of Seth Smith.

      The Yankees, and honestly all teams, have questions in their current rotation. Who takes over should Sabathia or Tanaka go down due to their knee and elbow issues? Who takes over if Severino reverts to his 2016 self and is sent to the bullpen or AAA? What if Montgomery falls victim to the sophomore slump?

      As things stand now, Chance Adams or Justus Sheffield could step up. But not if they are both dealt for Machado. Even if only one of them was dealt, who's to say the guy the Yankees keep can get the job done? Sheffield is the better prospect, and the O's would likely want him first. That would leave us with Adams, who many experts don't feel that high on. If Adams goes over Sheffield, keep in mind that Justus has yet to throw a pitch above AA ball.

      Then we're left with either Chad Green, who has not done well as a starter in 9 MLB starts (he's very good as a two-pitch guy out of the bullpen, as he threw half as many cutters and very few changeups as a reliever), or Luis Cessa, who's "meh". Then what for 2019 and beyond? Free Agency? Not a good plan with pitchers being so volatile, and less of them reaching free agency while still in their primes.

      A deal for Machado leaves more questions. Yes, it answers the question of who starts at 3B this season, but it leaves the rotation thinner now and thinner for the future.

      BTW, I like the idea that Hicks as trade bait. However, teams aren't likely to ignore the 370 games he played before last year, when he was a below to well below average player. Therefore, I think his worth to the Yankees is higher than his worth on the trade market.

  2. Remember, more than anything, the Yankees goal for 2018 is to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold.

    Why go over the threshold, and trade away quality prospects, to a division rival, to improve an offense that is designed to break records as is right now?

    Next year? Sure! Go for it! But not in 2018. No thank you.

    1. Rich Seller - I understand your concerns, but if everything plays out the way (I think) the Yankees are hoping - they could end up with Machado and TWO more starters and still stay under the luxury tax. But, a lot of things need to line up, which I think is the reason everything is taking so long. I'm sure we all agree that Stanton is a HUGE addition to the Yankee lineup, for sure. But, one big addition minus a few players from last season's squad (Todd Frazier, Chase Headley, Starlin Castro...) doesn't make a record breaking team. What happens if Judge and Stanton end up in a slump at the same time, we're worse off than last year, unless Bird is healthy and hitting and Sanchez and healthy and hitting. (We know Didi will be healthy and hitting!) Having a rookie at 2nd (Torres) and having someone like Machado, who can hit when playing on a team that's firing on all cylinders - it leaves room for slumps even if only half the team is hitting at one time. Andujar isn't ready for prime time yet, although Yankee fans seem to think so, the Yankees wouldn't be looking at anyone else if he was. Prospects are part of a bank - some you save and some you spend to upgrade. Cashman has talked about the names that everyone is chattering about...because the Yankees want to keep the fan base engaged and put those names out there. Cashman has also said that beyond those players there are more great players coming up. The Yanks just picked up two players (can't remember their names right now because they haven't talked about them enough yet) in international trade. One of them is a catcher like Sanchez. There are new, awesome prospects coming up all the long as people continue to produce offspring, there's a supply of new and exciting players. The GM's job is to play the game of having a killer team - and keeping "money" in the bank. They'll work it out. Although many of us don't always agree with Cashman...he's pretty savvy and will make it work, especially this year now that the Yankees are ALL IN.

  3. Makes a lot of sense! One thing that I heard Cashman say a while back (and many times he says things for leverage) but he was talking Manny AND one or two starters. Many people keep weighing an either 3B or SP. Right now we have (in no particular order) Severino, Tanaka, Gray, Montgomery, CC, and Chad Green has been told that he can audition for a starter position in spring training. Now, add to that one or two proven starters and it gives us more to play with. Most of the excellent prospects just recently came in within the last year or two. I bet that over the next few seasons we will trade more and end up with another stocked farm of pitchers. Not arguing with anything you said, but maybe another perspective could be that once you have one or two more high end starters (maybe Darvish is one of them so no prospects are lost...if Ells is moved) then you've got Sevy, Tanaka, Darvish, Gray, CC, Montgomery, possibly Green, and let's say Cole for kicks. CC can become a long reliever/spot starter/backup option. Green can go back to the bullpen and be a backup starter option. This leaves Montgomery is a proven commodity for a building team. So, I think it's possible that our trade chips - which I predicted about about a month and a half ago (and I know not everyone will agree - especially with the last one on my list) are...

    Ellsbury (if he approves)
    Headley (done)
    Castro (done)


  4. Bryan Van Dusen is my hero, not because he is writing what I have been saying for two years but because he writes much better than do I! Not that he hasn't been writing the same thoughts I have put fourth but, they are with much thought and I believe, his own conclusions!

    Mituba; trade any of those players except Clint Frazier. We have arms that can replace Betances but, IF he can get his sh-t we want to face him? NOOOOooooooo!

    1. Ken Reed - That is a good point about Betances! Probably will come down to what we'd get in return. Why not Frazier? Not arguing, just curious. Personal favorite?

    2. mituba, no, he is not a favorite! Just is a damn good player and let's face it, like it or not we will be needing him at some point this or next year. It is true we do have a special CF player in Estevan Florial but he is not going to be ready anytime soon.

      Other than Stanton and Judge all OF personnel are trade bait, maybe even Stanton...Mr. Cashman is a ninja...don't ya, know! LOL

      Betances, along with Brett have been favorites of mine after I had good looks at them on the Farm...different years! But, if you can't get it done...someone is always waiting for their chance!

  5. Brilliant takes by Mituba. He has made very relevant and defensible points. Good counter to Bryan's post.

    1. thank you, Scott! I feel the same way about Bryan's posts! :)

  6. Manny Machado. What is wrong with you people?

    I swore I would avoid another Vin Dozen post. So much for that.

    Von Dozen's own words.." he'd (Machado) likely cost some big prospects like Frazier, Andujar, Adams...and OTHERS!"....For one year. One.
    Machado wants $300-400 million, in 2019. Really?
    And then you expect the family discount from him?
    All this, after you pissed away some fine young talent on him?

    Try taking your young talent chips, and find the
    best young pitcher you can obtain.
    Then take your money, and add Todd Frazier. Jobs done.

    1. I like Frazier a lot, but the difference is Machado can hit. Personally, with an excellent defense, I prefer to have veteran pitchers that can leverage high pressure situations. Besides, the Yankees have a tendency to somehow bring back the best players that we've traded away. Not worried.

    2. I like Machado as much as anyone but, not this year...IF(I still hate that word) Machado really wants to play for the Yankees, he will sign next year with us.

  7. Hay guys, what do we need the most? Anyone have an idea at all?

    How about a damn good left handed bat??? We have 3 left handed bats, ok, you are right...who do we replace for said lefty?

    1. Brett Gardner CF-LB
    2. Aaron Judge RF-RB
    3. Didi Gregorius SS-LB
    4.Giancarlo Stanton DH-RB
    5. Gary Sanchez C-RB
    6. Greg Bird 1B-LB
    7. Clint Frazer LF-BR
    8. Miquel Andujar 3B-RB
    9. Gleyber Torres 2B

    1. Kenneth :
      This one is easy. There are three you can substitute a LH bat For.
      #1, #7 & #8...Gardner, Frazier, Andujar.

      Have to ask...when did Van Dozen become your hero ?
      Odd choice if you ask me.

    2. Actually patrick, I think all the writers and those that post on this site are very good. Besides, he wrote much of what I have been saying for the last year+!
      Brett is a lefty and Clint Frazier has one hell of a bat (20-30HR)!

      I admire those that can turn a comment into a think piece. Anyhow, when someone is, make that excellent at what they write and can paint a picture with words, to me that is a damn good writer and hope they always follow that which they learned in Journalism #101!