At the top of one of the most anticipated offseasons in MLB history, you have one of the most incredible talents in Manny Machado. His lethal bat and elite glove will have teams throwing the bank at him. It will likely take a contract worth at least $300 million over 10 years which will make him a franchise cornerstone. Teams have been reluctant to dish out mega deals recently but Machado is a unique situation as he is hitting the market at just 26 years old. Let’s take a look at teams that will be in play for him.
The Phillies looked like they were going to pull away in the NL East last year but a late-season skid ended all hopes of a playoff berth. They are flushed with cash and need help in the middle infield. They have been fielding a young team with a low payroll for the past few seasons. Their 2018 payroll was the 8th lowest in the league at $104 million. Its no wonder that they are the favorites to sign him. If they want to dethrone the Braves, signing Machado would be a good start.
New York Yankees
The Yankees were reportedly in on Machado at the deadline but felt it was unnecessary to deal assets for someone they could sign in the offseason. He wants to be a Yankee but the question is if the Yankees want him. Initially, they were reportedly only lukewarm on him but as the offseason has progressed, it seems like the Yankees are going to go after him. With Didi Gregorius missing a big chunk of next year from Tommy John surgery, he would be a more than suitable fill-in until Didi returns in which he would slide over to third base. The Yankees are the only team he would accept playing third for allegedly. His bat may be an embarrassment of riches for an already stacked lineup, but upgrading at third will increase their chances of winning the AL East.
The Cubs are in a tricky situation. It seems everyone wants to play for them but they just don’t have space. They have a bunch of young players that are about to get paid so its tough to think they would have the money for him. Imagine an infield of Anthony Rizzo, Javy Baez, Manny Machado, and Kris Bryant? That’s an infield complete of all-stars. With Addison Russell’s future with the team in question, he would certainly have a place there. There is certainly pressure to win on the North End of Chicago after everyone deemed them the next dynasty after their 2016 World Series title.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals were another team that was hot for Machado at the trade deadline. They already have their shortstop in Paul deJong but he would certainly be an upgrade over Jedd Gyorko. The NL Central is a competitive division with the Brewers as the defending Central champs and the Cubs who consistently make the postseason. The Cardinals are used to being the big brother of that division so they may feel the need to make a splash move like signing Machado to take back dominance in the NL Central.