Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in about a week, so baseball fans of the teams pursuing high-profile free agents get anxious when said free agents aren’t on a roster come February. That is exactly the case for Manny Machado. While most free agents would already be moved into a new city, Machado’s destination is still up in the air.
In the article “What’s Manny Machado waiting for? More money? Or the Yankees?” on nbcsports.com, Vinnie Duber describes what is perhaps the reason why:
“The prospect of Machado or Harper taking a one-year deal would have seemed ludicrous mere months ago, when they were both expected to receive decade-long deals worth $300 million or more. Well, those apparently haven’t materialized, at least in Machado’s case, with the only reported offer being the one he got from the White Sox, reportedly worth $175 million over seven years.”
Duber may have a good point: If Machado isn’t being offered the long-term money that was expected, perhaps he will take a one-year deal and then look for a bigger contract next offseason. Instead of the ten-year deal he was expected to get this time-round, he would get a nine-year deal next year after a one year “trial”. This would then intrigue many more teams (the Yankees always seem to be floating around).
Let’s take a look at the teams who have been the front-runners.
Chicago White Sox
Machado would fit perfectly in Chicago, as he would all but complete their already-good infield. He would likely move to third base, although he could probably convince the Sox to trade Tim Anderson to make room for him. They already let third baseman Matt Davidson sign with the Rangers. While White Sox fans have been historically pessimistic, Machado definitely looks like a good fit for the South Siders.
San Diego Padres
The Padres, much like the White Sox, are in rebuilding mode with many young, high-ceiling prospects coming up through the minors. Machado would be a huge improvement over their shortstop, Luis Urias, who is 21 and hit .208 last season.
The Phillies have been connected with Machado’s name throughout this past season. There were talks of a potential trade between them and Baltimore. The fact that the trade never materialized looks like a possible sign that Machado doesn’t want to play there.
Regardless of where Machado goes, that team will be an interesting one to watch and could be a good value play against some of the league’s best.