Thursday, July 12, 2018

Manny Machado & The Trade Deadline


The rumors surrounding a trade for Manny Machado are nearly out of control.

Some people have Machado in pinstripes in the same way the trade for Cliff Lee in 2010 was a "done deal". And while I'm not as confident that those people are, my money is on Manny being a Yankee before the All Star break.

If you've spent any time on Twitter since it was announced the Yankees have serious interest in Machado, then you know there are plenty of Yankees fans against such a move. Over and over again I've read the same type of reaction from those people... "the Yankees don't need Machado, they need a starter".

But like so many other things in life, from sports to politics, why is it one or the other? Why not both?

Acquiring Manny Machado means one of the Yankees regulars are free to include in a trade. Sure, I suppose the Yankees could decide to just move Miguel Andujar to AAA, and recall him for the 2019 season instead of signing Machado to a big money deal. But why would they do that?

No, going from Andujar to Machado is not a sideways deal. While Miguel has an OPS+ of 115, Manny's is 163. It's a definite upgrade on offense. But we're not talking about an offense that truly needs help. When it comes to runs per game, the Yankees are second with 5.21. Unfortunately, the team in first is the Boston Red Sox, but if the Yankees lose the American League East it won't be because they can't hit.

By the way, if you're worried about Boston's offense currently scoring more often, take a look at the pitching stats. Because the Yankees pitching staff has an ERA better than Bostons (3.42 to 3.53). Oh, and that's with Sonny Gray having made 18 starts with an ERA of 5.46.

To reiterate, the Yankees have little reason to lose any prospects in order to score a few more runs over the course of the season. Which is why I believe Brian Cashman is not going to stop with trading for Machado. Nor is he going to simply send Andujar to Scranton until next season.

Cashman may be able to get a good starting pitcher for someone like Justus Sheffield along with Clint Frazier, but I see a few issues with that...

One, as good as Frazier could be in the future, he is a corner outfielder, and good corner outfielders are not that difficult to obtain.

Two, Sheffield only has ten starts above AA ball. Sure, he's looked good in AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre, but if I'm the team giving up a really good starter with another year or more of team control I'd want something closer to a sure thing.

Three, I don't think Brian Cashman wants to give up Sheffield, anyway. Even if the Yankees were to acquire a strong starter, who is under team control into next season, the rotation could still use Justus around for some high upside depth. Especially with Sabathia having thought about retirement, Montgomery possibly out until 2020 (and who knows how he'll return from Tommy John surgery), Gray's future with the team up in the air, and not being comfortable counting one or both of Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga, there's a good chance Sheffield begins the 2019 season in New York.

Now, before wrapping this thing up, I should note that I don't believe Manny Machado would refuse to move to third base if he were dealt to the Yankees. When he said recently that he's a shortstop, it wasn't a way of saying he wouldn't move positions, it was simply a statement of fact. At this moment Machado is the shortstop in Baltimore, and unless something significant happens, that's the way things will be until the end of the season.

Besides, I would be very, very, surprised if the Yankees shortstop... Didi Gregorius... was traded instead of Andujar. Didi will be a free agent after next season, and teams that are selling are typically thinking two or more years into the future. Not to mention that having Andujar and Machado on the left side of the infield would be far from ideal, as that defense would be pretty bad*.

*Since there has been some controversy, I wanted to note that while Andujar is very good at making routine plays, it's his range that needs a lot of work.

So here's my prediction...

Before the All Star break the Yankees will trade for Manny Machado. I don't have a good idea of what the package would be for him, but it wouldn't include any of Andujar, Frazier, or Sheffield. By the way, I wouldn't be surprised if Britton was included on the Orioles' side, but I'm not counting on it. There are too many teams in need of bullpen help, so the Orioles will deal Britton for another nice return.

Closer to the non-waiver trade deadline, when prices fall, Brian Cashman will package Andujar and Frazier, along with a couple of other pieces, for a high-end starter.

And to put the cherry on top of it all, those two moves will help the Yankees have the best record from August 1st on.

2 comments:

  1. We do not need to trade for Machado when Andujar is doing an above average job offensively and defensively.
    We do not need to trade Frazier or Sheffield either. I could see us trading Hicks who will be a FA after next season while he is having a career year.
    Walker needs to be DFA'd or traded with Shreve for a LH reliever.
    If we could add Britton or get Kahnle back to where he was last year and get Gray to pick it up like the ace he was in Oakland then we could stand pat.
    I don't think spending 25 to 30 million a year on a 3B is not needed next year either.

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    1. We don't need to trade for Machado, no, but technically we don't need to do anything. A playoff spot is almost a certainty and we have had zero issues beating up on Seattle, Boston and Houston thus far this season. Machado would be nice though depending on what it takes to acquire him, assuming it happens.

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