Hello there! Welcome to the Friday column space that will soon be bumped to the second slot because the Minor League recap is late!
(Hm, maybe should edit that out. Nah.)
Today’s offering is one where I posit the following, based on reports from earlier this week that the Diamondbacks were doing some due diligence on the matter: The Diamondbacks should do what they can to acquire Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles. I will list the reasons why:
- Manny Machado is incredibly good at Baseball
Machado, on an absolutely putrid Orioles team, has a higher OPS than anyone on the Diamondbacks not named A.J. Pollock (Who hasn’t played in more than month.) His defense at Shortstop is worse than Nick Ahmed’s, but even with his recent power surge, he still has hit 8 fewer Home Runs than Machado. A suggestion I saw somewhere that if the Diamondbacks do trade for Machado, he could play Short against Righties and move over to Third, where he’s better defensively, against a tough Lefty to give Jake Lamb a spell and not lose too much offensively.
Basic fit wise, Machado is a no-brainer.
- When the current contention window closes after 2019, you need to go for it and stop hugging prospects
Pollock is a Free Agent after this season, Paul Goldschmidt is a Free Agent after 2019. Unless the Diamondbacks re-sign them (I would put the willingness to do that as “Unlikely, but not impossible”) then this may be it for the current window of contention. Nobody is gonna go “Well, they didn’t win a World Series, but at least they kept that guy who was kind of good in Double-A but then turned into a career 4.00 ERA Journeyman!”
I get that prospects are tantalizing, we all get swept in that spell. However, not all prospects pan out the way you want them to, and sometimes you have to use them as chips to get better. The Diamondbacks farm system isn’t really anything to write home about, and that fact may be a roadblock to acquiring Machado, but if you know that you have a chance to win a World Series, you can probably afford to pull the trigger on moving some of those prospects. There’s always a risk that you might give up the next superstar, but you can’t be so risk-averse to the detriment of your team.
(And in this specific case, the Orioles, uh, don’t have a great record of developing prospects anyway, hence the current situation they’re in.)
Obviously, you don’t want to give up any major contributing Major League pieces if you can help it, but it seems that trade and free agent markets have been quite... cheap in the past few years, so that may be less of a concert. Either way, pieces that have yet to reach the Major Leagues should not be off the table.
Prospects come and go and will break you heart. Flags fly forever.
These “Prestige” MLB teams who have all the money, and all the prospect development tools, and all the eyeballs can’t beat out the Diamondbacks for the prize trade deadline piece? They should be clowned on for all eternity and we should be right there for that.
The Diamondbacks should go for it, and not worry about what might or might not happen in 2022, and acquiring Manny Machado would signify going for it. Is there a chance it all crashes and burns and whoever the D-Backs send to Baltimore become the core of their next championship team? An incredibly small one, but sure, but you can’t live like that. There’s also the chance that Machado goes to Los Angeles, hits about .600 the rest of the season, and the Dodgers cruise to another NL West title, but it’s okay cause the Jackson Generals have a complete roster still!
In conclusion, Manny Machado is a land of contrasts.