The Manny Machado sweepstakes and some early all-star game talk
It feels like the Manny Machado trade talk has been going on for a couple years but this should finally be the deadline we see him moved along with possibly other names like DeGrom, Syndergaard, Bumgarner, Cueto, Moustakas, Beltre, and Britton. By the way, why hasn’t Manny Machado been traded yet Peter Angelos/Dan Duquette?!?!?! Good thing the Blue Jays traded Josh Donaldson before the season so he didnt get hurt and have this weird throwing issue that more than likely cut his trade value in half... Its okay Orioles fans there is no way Angelos swoops in and ruins your rebuilding dreams this year. Machado is a no doubt All-Star this year at short and with the 2018 season two months in we are going to do a little two month in All-Star team that should be.
MANNY MACHADO 3B/SS Baltimore Orioles
3x all-star, 2x gold glover, and platinum glove winner last year at third base
.323 18 HR 49 RBI in 60 games
MAKES THE MOST SENSE
-Chicago Cubs- The deal--> Machado and RHP Brad Brach to the Cubs for SS Addison Russell, RHP Adbert Alzolay, and RHP Thomas Hatch
They aren't exactly the perfect trade partner for the Orioles with their depleted farm system BUT you can't count out how valuable a centerpiece Addison Russell could be in a trade. Now on the Cubs side Russell could easily be replaced by Javier Baez at short and Happ at second if Machado didn't resign, and not even really downgrade from the current teams roster. Im not so sure if the Cubs interested isn't more of a mirage to drive up the price on teams like the Cardinals or the Phillies BUT I also wouldn't put it past Theo Epstein to come in at the last second and offer Russell with two of there top pitching prospects and steal Machado away from the Cardinals.
-St. Louis Cardinals- The deal--> Machado and LHP Zach Britton to the Cards for RHP Luke Weaver, SS Yairo Munoz, OF Tyler O'Neil, and RHP Johan Oviedo
This is the team that makes the most sense because they really have the most incentive of any team in keeping him from the Cubs and they also have a lot more young pitching that the pitching starved Orioles would covet. They throw out a deal with Alex Reyes or Luke Weaver and a couple other young starting pitchers, I'm not sure the Cubs could come close to matching that.
-Philadelphia Phillies- The deal--> Machado to the Phillies for SS J.P. Crawford, RHP Sixto Sanchez, and LHP Cole Irvin
Where there's smoke there's fire and the most noise about Machado has been coming from the Phillies. They have a solid centerpiece for a trade in shortstop JP Crawford or Sixto Sanchez and I think they like Machado way more than Bryce Harper, so getting a head start on that race would be a big deal for them. This deal would also give them their franchise cornerstone that could help them stay in the Wild Card race this year and be competitive for a long time if they could outbid everyone else this offseason. You only make this deal if you are the Phillies if you know for sure you can outbid everyone else (which is a lot easier now knowing the Red Sox and the Yankees are probably out of it).
-Atlanta Braves- The deal--> Machado and RHP Brad Brach to the Braves for RHP Kyle Wright, 3B Austin Riley, and RHP Jasseel De La Cruz
They have the open payroll and the best minor league system in baseball so if they decided to bring in Machado to bat behind Freddie Freeman they could do it easier than any other team in baseball. The main problem here is that they probably don’t think its the time to make a huge deal just yet but if they did put a package together with SP Kyle Wright and 3B Austin Riley they would jump to the front of the pack in the quality of prospects the Orioles could get.
-Los Angeles Dodgers- The deal--> Machado and RHP Brad Brach to the Dodgers for OF Alex Verdugo, RHP Dennis Santana, and RHP Dustin May
This would be a top package the Orioles would love because they would get a picher they could plug into the rotation and Verdugo who could take over for Adam Jones in center when he leaves in free agency or comes back and plays left field. Verdugo, the Dodgers top prospect, would be hard to give up but when you bring in Machado he becomes expendable because you would probably have to move Bellinger to left anyways. This won’t happen but the Dodgers should at least touch base with the Orioles because they have the money and the prospects to make the deal but they just might not want to deal with the luxury tax. It would be a horrible 2018 for the Dodgers if them and their 200 million dollar payroll didn’t make the playoffs.
THE 2018 2 Months in ALL-STAR team's
-Catcher- Gary Sanchez (NYY) Wilson Ramos (Rays)
Not much competition here. Sanchez is leading catchers in home runs but has been playing with the Mendoza line all year and Ramos has returned to the guy who was one of the best catchers in the NL with the Nationals. Salvador Perez could move ahead of one of these guys if he keeps hitting like he has BUT he with him missing the first month he has a lot of catching up to do.
-First Base- Jose Abreu (White Sox) Joey Gallo (Rangers)
Good lord what has happened to the first baseman in the American League?? Abreu is the obvious selection here but I had to scratch and claw to find a second guy hitting around the mendoza line to take over the second first base slot. Gallo gets the nod with his 40 HR pace since he is really the only choice to represent the Rangers and the Rays will have Blake Snell so he edges out CJ Cron.
-Second Base- Jose Altuve (Astros) Eduardo Escobar (Twins) Jed Lowrie (Athletics)
Altuve is the golden standard at second base in the league so that pick is easy. Escobar should be on this team and he fits in a second base even though he plays all over the infield for the twins and leads the league in doubles. Lowrie is one of the last guys to be put on the team but with him having his best season yet and I don't see how you put four shortstops on the roster Lowrie sneaks on over Boegarts and Didi.
-Shortstop- Manny Machado (Orioles) Francisco Lindor (Indians) Jean Segura (Mariners)
Shortstop in the AL is loaded and with Machado moving to short this year it squeezed well deserving guys like Xander Boegarts, Didi Gregorius and Carlos Correa off this list. Lindor might be the best shortstop in baseball with his 30/30 potential and gold glove defense so there is no way him and his golden personality doesn't make the team. Segura is as well deserving as anyone with him batting well over .300 and trying to lead the league in stolen bases and runs at the top of the surprisingly potent Mariners lineup.
-Third Base- Jose Ramirez (Indians) Mike Moustakas (Royals)
Ramirez is having his best year yet and the MVP candidate is a superstar in the making who should make this team for a long time. The corner infield spots in the AL are so bad after these two guys and Abreu but with Moustakas's hot start and the Royals needing a representative he jumps on as the second third baseman.
-Outfield- Mike Trout (Angels) Mookie Betts (Red Sox) Eddie Rosario (Twins) Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox) Aaron Judge (Yankees) George Springer (Astros)
The outfielders in the AL are STACKED with a couple MVP candidates. Trout and Betts might be the two best players in the game and Benintendi and Judge are the two best young outfielders in the game. Springer is the last one added with him being the driving force in the Astros lineup this year and the distance between him and the next guys (Stanton, Kris Davis, and M. Brantley) is huge.
-DH- JD Martinez (Red Sox)
The first-third-of-the-year MVP and leads the league in homers and RBIs. Easiest selection of all of any position.
-Pitchers- Justin Verlander (Astros) Luis Severino (Yankees) Corey Kluber (Indians) Chris Sale (Red Sox) Blake Snell (Rays) Trevor Bauer (Indians) Gerrit Cole (Astors) Edwin Diaz (Mariners) Craig Kimbrel (Red Sox) Aroldis Chapman (Yankees) Shane Greene (Tigers) Blake Treinen (Athletics) JA Happ (Blue Jays) Keona Kela (Rangers)
Pitching all around the big leagues is STACKED right now but the American League might have 4 of the top 5 pitchers in baseball with Verlander, Severino, Kluber, and Sale. Then you have the young guys Snell, Bauer, and Cole to fill out the rest of the rotation to make one of the best starting pitching rosters we've ever seen in an All-Star game. The last spot goes to Happ who is having his best year of his career at 35 and can be the Jays representative. Charlie Morton and Jose Berrios would have an argument but theres no way you can go wrong with these guys that made it. The bullpen guys were a little tougher but with no doubt guys like Kimbrel, Diaz, and Chapman you can add in Greene as the Tigers rep and Treinen has possibly been the best closer in the American League so far but he just had less save opportunities than the three big guys.
Catcher- JT Realmuto (Marlins) Buster Posey (Giants)
Another one of the no doubt groups with Realmuto and Posey being far and away the best catchers so far. Realmuto missed a couple weeks and already has more homers than Posey and has almost passed all the other catchers in every category. Yasmani Grandal started out strong and would probably be the next guy up but after fading over the last month his average is already dipping down to the low .200
First Base- Freddie Freeman (Braves) Paul Goldschmidt (Dbacks) Brandon Belt (Giants)
Freeman has been the MVP of the NL so far and deserves the start. Goldschmidt started out SO SLOW but has been heating up lately and theres no doubt he will turn it around and be the Dbacks rep. Belt's career year gets him in as one of the last guys on the roster. Jose Martinez is the next guy up but with Rizzo and Votto having really slow starts there isn't much discussion here.
Second Base- Ozzie Albies (Braves) Javier Baez (Cubs) Scooter Gennett (Reds)
Albies is one of the most exciting young players in baseball and has lead the surprising young Braves resurgence. Baez has been the Cubs best players so far and with this guys personality and his fast start it will be hard to leave him off. Gennett has followed up his career year last year with an even better start this year so he's a no doubter as well.
Shortstop- Brandon Crawford (Giants) Trevor Story (Rockies)
This group is leaps and bounds behind the AL group with only two deserving guys in Crawford and Story. Both of them are not only the leaders in most hitting categories but it will probably come down to these two for gold glove as well.
Third Base- Nolan Arenado (Rockies) Eugenio Suarez (Reds) Travis Shaw (Brewers)
Arenando is my favorite player in baseball and is not only a top 5 hitter in the league but might be the best defender in all of baseball. Suarez is having a huge year and is at the top of most categories at third base even though he missed a couple weeks with a broken thumb. Shaw is the last bat added to the roster with him leading all third baseman in homers.
Outfield- Charlie Blackmon (Rockies) Nick Markakis (Braves) Bryce Harper (Nationals) Odubel Herrera (Phillies) Christian Yelich (Brewers) Matt Kemp (Dodgers)
Another one of the groups that is far behind the AL. Blackmon is one of the best all around players in baseball (how are the Rockies not better) and the rest of the group are having solid years but after Blackmon everyone else is having solid but unspectacular years in comparison to the other league. Harper is having a down year but he still leads all OF in home runs and major league baseball really wants him at the All-Star game to represent the Nationals at their home field.
Pitchers- Max Scherzer (Nationals) Jacob DeGrom (Mets) Aaron Nola (Phillies) Jon Lester (Cubs) Ross Stripling (Dodgers) Patrick Corbin (Dbacks) Miles Mikolas (Cardinals) Brad Hand (Padres) Sean Doolittle (Nationals) Kenley Jansen (Dodgers) Wade Davis (Rockies) Brandon Morrow (Cubs) Josh Hader (Brewers)
Scherzer has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for as long as I can remember now and he is dominating again. If it wasn't for Verlander, DeGrom has been pitching as good as any All-Star game starter and would deserve the nod. Nola, Lester, and Mikolas are no doubters and Corbin with his hot start and Stripling with his amazing last month finish out the starting pitchers for the NL. The bullpen group is where the NL could beat the AL with there three shut down lefties in Hand, Doolittle, and young strikeout king Hader. Jansen is still debatably the best closer in the game and Morrow and Davis sneak in ahead of Arodys Vizcaino and Dan Winkler from the Braves.
-JUST SOME DUDE