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Poll Results: McMahon or Machado

Bobby Grich, six time All-Star, lived in McMahon’s neighborhood.
Bobby Grich, six time All-Star, lived in McMahon’s neighborhood.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

AZ Snake Pit fans voted for Ryan McMahon over Manny Machado (65% vs 35%).

The reasons for voting for McMahon included better defense, younger player with room to grow offensively, and better intangibles such as a better fit with team culture.

Although Machado was not chosen, he had some strengths. His strengths included an impact bat, better 3-year OPS+ (122 vs 92), and he is more versatile than he showed at third base. For more details, quotes from AZ Snake Pit follow:

Ryan McMahon.

“Using a 3 year sample McMahon has a big edge in rDRS because of a massive 22 rDRS in 2021. So I’d probably tend to mute that a bit by averaging with UZR . It should be noted that UZR/150 (at 3b only) still favors McMahon, but not by as much. 8.4 vs 4.4. And McMahon is two years younger than Machado. So he’ll stay closer to his peak fielding than Machado will over the next couple of years.” — Jack Sommers

“Under current ownership McMahon being the younger cheaper player, with some additional room to grow offensively and already the superior defender, then he would be the choice.” — Jack Sommers

Manny Machado.

“Mak, I think you absolutely must use park adjusted metrics [like OPS+ or wRC+] for at least part of this comparison. I know you touched on splits. But McMahon is playing in Colorado while Machado is playing in SD. The most hitter friendly park vs the most pitcher friendly park. McMahon has never posted a 100 OPS+, (although he came close last year with 98). His 3 year average for 2019-2021 is 92 OPS+ . Machado has a 126 OPS+ the last 3 seasons combined.” — Jack Sommers

“The thing about Machado is that I wonder if his value got depressed by playing 3B. If I am not mistaken, he was really good at SS early in his career having 2.5 dWAR a year for a couple of years on top of his 5+ oWAR.” — Xerostomia

“Thus, I would argue that Machado is the more versatile position player and has a better bat to match. His career OPS+ 122 is nothing to sneeze at.” — Xerostomia

“However under a Jeff Bezos ownership where money is no object, then you have to go with the biggest impact player. And with his huge bat advantage, that is clearly Machado.” — Jack Sommers

“As far as humans go, Machado just doesn’t seem to be a guy I could root for. Fantastic player no doubt, just have told my kids several times “that’s not how to be” when watching him.” — Dschumac

“The only caveat is how much do you want to discount Machado for intangibles. While I think some issues have been blown out of proportion one can’t ignore this consideration either.” — Jack Sommers

“I think that James Jones has taught us that team building is more about team & culture fit, and not purely stats. I would not want Machado in my locker room.” — gzimmerm

The question was settled.

AZ Snake Pit fans preferred Ryan McMahon by a wide margin.

Before we close the debate, let’s look at a lighter question. Who would Ryan McMahon and Manny Machado choose as a teammate, if they could pick any era and any sport?

Ryan McMahon might pick Bobby Grich because he grew up in the same neighborhood. In an interview McMahon said he would pick Grich to play one game with, but McMahon was not given a chance to expand upon his answer. One thing they have in common is they are tall infielders (Baseball Reference shows both are 6’2”). Bobby Grich was a six time All-Star with 4 Gold Gloves and one Silver Slugger awards. Certainly, Ryan McMahon realistically aspires to multiple Gold Glove awards and a Silver Slugger award.

Manny Machado might pick Kobe Bryant. One thing they have in common is they projected larger-than-life images. As Manny Machado was doing rehab reps, he met Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant said, “I see you kid. I see you working.” Manny Machado said he will never forget those words because he very much admired Kobe Bryant.