The Orioles Appear to Be Coming to Their Senses

When the Angels landed Shohei Otani on Friday and the Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton over the weekend, I noted that the move might motivate the fringe contenders in the AL to shift gears. Rationally, the bar to make the postseason in the AL was just raised significantly, and teams like the Orioles saw their path to the playoffs get significantly slimmer.

This week, the Orioles appear to have gotten the memo.

There’s no real reason for the Orioles to keep Manny Machado. We have the Orioles projected for 76 wins, right between the Braves and Marlins, and Machado is heading into his final year before reaching free agency. The Orioles can’t afford to let a guy with his value walk for draft pick compensation next year, so the question is whether they would trade him now or this summer.

By moving him now, they can take advantage of the desire of multiple teams to add an impact position player this winter, with the Cardinals as a potentially obvious suitor. While there aren’t that many contenders out there looking for a shortstop, Machado is a legitimately elite player, and teams that don’t see SS as a need might still get involved just to get that kind of impact player in the fold. And if some team wants to take a 10 month run at trying to re-sign him before he hits free agency, then there’s value in acquiring him ahead of time to get those exclusive negotiating rights.

The Orioles should do pretty well in a Machado deal, even though he’s just a rental. A +6 WAR guy who can provide his level of offense from SS is not something that comes available every day. Let the bidding begin!





Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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MSuder
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MSuder

Percentage chance that Machado makes the short trip up I95 to Philadelphia is…

v2micca
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v2micca

I’m going to guess it would be low. Philadelphia isn’t likely to be a competitive team in 2018. It doesn’t make a lot of sense for them to spend the prospects necessary to acquire a one year rental like Machado during a season in which they wouldn’t really be able to leverage his value.

noeckerr
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noeckerr

Unless they plan to sign him next winter.

flyingnimbus
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flyingnimbus

They could just do that then, no point in giving up anything in a trade for the right to have your extension offer rejected by Machado.

noeckerr
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noeckerr

Fair. Unless getting him early would help in convincing him to sign.

Anon21
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Anon21

So sign him next winter, then. What’s the evidence that the exclusive negotiating window plays a significant role for a guy this close to free agency?

sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

They’ve been reported as interested and the O’s were reportedly interested in Sixto Sanchez as a main piece. But the Phillies want to strike a long-term deal with Machado before completing the trade. So there are added complications, but it would be worth it from the Phillies’ perspective.

Shauncore
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Yeah, I’m not sure I see Machado’s side of signing an extension so close to free agency.

scooter262
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scooter262

Isn’t he a Boras client? If so, there is 0% chance he signs an extension. If not, I guess maybe there would be a small chance.

sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

He switched. I think Lozano is his agent now.

sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

I have no idea either. It would have to be a lot of money, include no-trade clauses or opt outs, etc.

EonADS
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EonADS

Honestly the Phillies choices are:

A) Sign Manny Machado in the 2018 offseason for somewhere in the ballpark of $300 million.

B) Trade for Machado with top-tier prospects, then sign him in free agency in 2018 or to an extension… for roughly the same amount of money.

One of these costs top-tier prospect talent. The other doesn’t. Neither one gives them a greater chance of securing Machado in the long term. I’d say the choice is fairly obvious.