Posted on November 10, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
In any other year, Manny Machado would undoubtedly be the biggest prize on the free agent market. This winter, the infielder will have to live with being second-best to Bryce Harper, who will have most of baseball after him. However, there will be plenty of teams seeking Machado’s services and willing to pay a high price to get him. Let’s take an early look at what teams have the best chance to sign Machado this winter.
Braves – 10%
The Braves are nearing the end of their rebuilding project and they appear to have some money to spend. Unless they can convince Machado to play third base, where they have an opening, they may have to maneuver some pieces with Dansby Swanson currently entrenched at shortstop. But Atlanta would be more than willing to do that if they can lure Machado.
Cardinals – 10%
It’s been three straight seasons without a playoff birth for the Cardinals, and they will be determined to change that. St. Louis is looking for a big bat, and so they will also be in the mix for Harper. However, we’ve seen in past years that the Cardinals have no problem playing musical chairs in their infield. Even with Paul DeJong at shortstop, they’ll find a way to make it work.
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Cubs – 15%
The Cubs look like they’re going to do more than just kick the tires of Machado. Addison Russell’s future in Chicago is far from certain after his off-field issues this past season. There is also speculation that Kris Bryant could be traded. The Cubs look like they could do something major this winter, and signing Machado would certainly be something big.
Phillies – 30%
There have been rumblings all year that the Phillies are ready to spend money this winter. In fact, Machado may be their top target. In fact, the Phillies nearly worked out a trade for Machado during the summer before he ended up with the Dodgers. It’s not far-fetched to think that Philadelphia will make an effort to outbid any offer Machado receives from another team.
White Sox – 10%
The White Sox have been talked about early in the offseason as possible big spenders. Adding a player like Machado would help expedite the rebuilding process. It would also give them a cornerstone player to build around for years to come. Tim Anderson is signed long-term as the shortstop of the future, but the White Sox would certainly be willing to make room for Machado if they can get him.
Yankees – 15%
With Didi Gregorius set to miss a big chunk of 2019, the Yankees have to consider letting him go and trying to sign Machado. It doesn’t hurt that Machado has intimated that he’d like to join the Yankees. As usual, money probably won’t be an issue if the Yankees want a player. They are also feeling pressure to win a World Series after losing to the Red Sox in the playoffs and then watching Boston take home a world championship. That could spur them to pull the trigger on Machado.
The Field – 10%
As always, it’s too early in the offseason to rule out teams on the periphery deciding to make a significant push for Machado. The Padres could be a team to watch after they spent money last winter to sign Eric Hosmer. The Mets have also been mentioned in rumors, while teams like the Brewers, Giants, and Tigers could also make sense as possible destinations for Machado.