Several sources in baseball reported this past week that the Manny Machado sweepstakes is on the turn to being close to finished with the Chicago White Sox, the seen favorite, offering a deal to Machado publicly. However, many suggest the presence of a ‘mystery team’ in play for Machado.
Machado, 26, spent the latter half of the 2018 season with the Dodgers, being traded from the Orioles in a trade that sent a hefty package of prospects from Los Angeles to Baltimore. Machado filled a hole left by the season-ending injury suffered by Corey Seager in late April. However, since Seager is healthy once again, and is arguably the best shortstop in the National League, some find it unnecessary to pursue Machado.
In enters the news of the offer submitted by the White Sox, which was reportedly marked at 7 years, $175M dollars. This offer puzzled many fans and executives alike.
The offer made by the ‘ChiSox’ entails an AAV of $25M, something lots didn’t expect for Machado. After the Dodgers arbitration settlements, the team’s current adjusted payroll stands at $188.7M, according to Spotrac. This leaves the Dodgers just around $20M below the Competitive Balance/Luxury Tax.
If the Dodgers would be capable to dump a little salary, as the front office has already made it clear that they plan to stay below the Luxury Tax threshold, having the money to give Machado a higher AAV than that of the White Sox is entirely possible. The Dodgers likely wouldn’t give out a deal any longer than six years, so a contract that nears the $30M AAV that Machado’s team is looking for could be supplied by LA.
The aforementioned return of Corey Seager should not have a negative impact on the Dodgers’ pursuit of Machado. The Dodgers frankly lack star-power at second base, and each infielder on the Dodgers’ roster is capable of moving around the infield with success. It would be a solid plan for Los Angeles to simply let the infield sort itself out by signing Machado and letting him play through Spring Training to see what fits.
Offer Machado a six year deal worth $180M dollars under the condition that Machado will be willing to play third base for the Dodgers. Move the current mainstay at third base, Justin Turner, to second base, the position he came up through the minor leagues at. The rest of the infield would fill out with Max Muncy at first base, and Corey Seager at shortstop. Lineups for rest and substitution can be made according to secondary positions of every starter.
The mystery team has yet to be announced, but should it be the Dodgers, we could be witness to the construction of the greatest infield baseball has seen in years.