The Minnesota Twins are starting to score some runs and win some games, bringing excitement back into Target Field. Although it’s still early in the 2018 season, there has already been a little bit of trade chatter going around the league.
This season hasn’t started the way that the Minnesota Twins had envisioned. However, the bats have picked up in recent games, and Fernando Romero has provided a boost to the rotation. As bad as things have started for the Twins, they are only one game behind Cleveland in the AL Central race and could be active buyers on the trade market this year.
That market has started to heat up a little earlier than normal. It’s only early May and it is already widely presumed that the Baltimore Orioles will be making Manny Machado available, and soon. When Machado becomes available, it will be chaos around the league. Any team that has even a playoff daydream will be calling the Orioles to strike a deal. The question is, should Minnesota be in on Machado? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of a potential deal.
The case for exploring this trade
Machado is a top-tier player in Major League Baseball. Okay, now that I’ve made the case for the trade, let’s take a look at why the Twins shouldn’t trade for him. Wait, what? I’m sorry, you want more than just the obvious? Okay, let’s take a look at his career a little bit. Follow me…
The 25-year-old shortstop has averaged 35 home runs over the last three seasons for Baltimore. Machado has a .280/.338/.502 slash line with 277 runs batted in during that stretch. He has played premier defense at the hot corner, already winning two Gold Gloves at this point in his career. Red hot barely begins to describe his start to this season. He’s hitting .346 with nine home runs and 27 runs batted in.
Machado is the real deal and without question would push the Minnesota Twins to new heights. He’s still young and his best baseball is ahead of him. Minnesota “needs” a shortstop because of the Jorge Polanco suspension, even though Eduardo Escobar has filled in nicely, and Machado is the best available.
However, Machado has only this season remaining before he hits free agency so this would be risky for the Twins. That also part of the intrigue for Minnesota. With Machado being only a half-year rental, the price tag shouldn’t be too steep for the Twins to be involved.
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Minnesota should be willing to part with two Top-30 prospects and possibly a lower-tier prospect for a few months of Machado. Having him in this lineup every day with Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario will instantly make this one of the feared lineups in baseball. Machado is worth at least kicking the tires on for Minnesota and would be a valuable addition to the clubhouse.
The case against exploring this trade
The Minnesota Twins already have enough impending free agency questions to answer. Adding Machado into the mix with soon to be free agents, Dozier and Joe Mauer, will only make things more difficult payroll wise moving forward.
On top of that, the Twins are a small market franchise and the majority of this team has been built from within their own Minor League system. Trading multiple prospects for only a few months from Machado could backfire for the Twins. The price tag for signing him to an extension is probably outside of the Twins comfort zone, but not unheard of from this organization.
In the off-chance that Machado actually agrees to an extension, there really is no downside to this type of trade. He is worth the best of prospects if the Twins have him for the long-term and this would be a huge swing of momentum in the Twins favor.
This trade is unlikely to happen for the Minnesota Twins and that’s probably a good thing. As spectacular as it would be to watch Machado for a few months, there’s little chance Minnesota would be able to sign him long-term.
Even if the Twins only trade mid-tier prospects to acquire Machado, those prospects are what keeps Minnesota competing during every season. The Minor League system is the lifeblood of an MLB team and every piece comes in handy.
In closing, this trade would be a huge boost for this fan base, no matter how unlikely it is. However, IF the Twins acquired Machado, and IF he signed an extension, it would have a huge impact on the organization. We’re fans, we’re all allowed to dream about acquiring these types of players, that’s what’s fun about fandom. However, for now, I’ll leave you with this, Go Twins!