It seems like this topic comes up every year. Are the Cardinals interested in acquiring Manny Machado? I think most teams are interested in Machado, but he was never available. But according to Ken Rosenthal, the Orioles have been listening and are now shopping Manny Machado. After missing out on Stanton, the team is still looking for a middle order bat. Is this the time for the Cardinals to make a move?
Yes, yes it is.
The word is that the Orioles are looking for young pitching in exchange for Machado. And young pitching is just what the Cardinals have. Now for a player like Machado, these will be the cream of the crop. The Cardinals will most likely have to shell out guys like Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty, Sandy Alcantra, or Dakota Hudson, in order to land Machado. The worst part, is that he becomes a free agent after this season. They would most likely try to sign him to an extension or offer up a good deal once he becomes a free agent. It wouldn’t be the first time the Cardinals have picked up a rental player (Matt Holliday) and then convinced him to re-sign with the club, but nothing is a for sure thing.
It is also said that Machado wants to move back to his natural position of shortstop. What would this mean for the Cardinals? Basically just make a flip-flop. Paul DeJong played a good shortstop for the Cardinals this past season, but third base is actually his natural position, so if you move DeJong to 3rd and Machado to SS, problem solved. Gyorko would most likely be put into a utility role much like Carpenter is expected to have this year if that was the case. Gyorko can play basically all infield positions if asked and would make for a good platoon guy.
Machado is a game changer. He is a premier defender at 3B and I can imagine that will translate with a move to SS. He holds a career slash line of .279/.329/.476 and the past 3 seasons he averaged 35 home runs a season. He is only 25 years old and has more room for improvement as he ages.
With the amount of depth the Cardinals have in the pitching department, this is a no-brainer to me. Ideally in this situation, the Cardinals would offer up a couple young pitchers and immediately try to sign Machado to an extension. Now, that is easier said than done, but we will see what happens. I expect them to offer Weaver, Flaherty, and a lower level prospect on top of that. That seems like a gamble for a potential one year rental, but if he decides he doesn’t want to re-sign at least we have all that money to pursue other players. He didn’t have the best year in 2017 but his career numbers are solid and would make a great presence in the Cardinals lineup. The Cardinals have both the money and the prospects to get this done. St. Louis is a great baseball town and I’m convinced they will be able to sign him long term. The Cards want to make a push right now to contend, and this is just the way to do it.
Who do you want to see in a Cardinals uniform next season?