While a lot of the attention this upcoming MLB offseason is surrounding the free agent decision of current Washington Nationals superstar Bryce Harper, he is not the only big name who will likely be changing teams this winter. Despite being dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 2018 All-Star Break, former Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado is also a free agent at the end of the year and will be potentially looking for a new home. Of course, every MLB team would love to have the 26-year-old slugger, but not every team is going to be on his radar. Plus he isn’t going to come cheap, which eliminated the poorest half of teams right from the start. While it is tough to know exactly where he is going to go, and a lot of it could depend on who does (or doesn’t) get Harper as their first choice, here are 12 potential free agency landing spots for Machado.
12. Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians have not won a World Series since way back in 1948, so they are more than overdue. During periods last season, the team seemed unstoppable on their way to 102 wins and a division title. But they cooled down before the playoffs, and were upset by the young, hard hitting Yankees in the ALDS. In 2018, they have put together a pretty good season and will probably win their third straight AL Central title. But few experts have them getting to the Fall Classic over the likes of the Yanks, Red Sox, or Astros. If they want to get over the hump, they will have to do something big. If they can sign Machado to play third base, they could move Jose Ramirez to second base full-time, and they would have one of the scariest teams in the MLB with the likes of Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley, and Edwin Encarnacion all in the lineup.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks
This is another “off the board” pick that might not be a popular one, but we believe it could happen. The Diamondbacks are (and have been for a few years) been at the cusp of being something special. They have shown flashes of brilliance, but they haven’t materialized into championships or big-time playoff wins. Bringing Machado in could be just what they need to take the next step to make some noise in the playoffs. Arizona hasn’t been shy about splashing out big money to get a key player — just look at the Zack Greinke contract. If he does decide to sign with the D-Backs, it would mean he would find himself in a direct NL West competition with the team that just traded for him, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
10. Chicago White Sox
While they have one of the worst records in the MLB as of the writing of this article, we don’t think they are too far away from being a contender. They have a very young team, including former top prospect Yoan Moncada, and while they haven’t made a big splash yet in a while, we believe that “big splash” could come this summer if they sign Manny Machado. If they can manage to get him (plus a few other shrewd roster moves), it would be a huge boost to the club and could put them in a playoff spot next season — the AL Central isn’t particularly strong right now. However, that all depends on whether Machado is interested.
9. Boston Red Sox
Whenever there is a big name free agent on the move, the Boston Red Sox always comes up as a potential landing spot. With Manny Machado, things will be no different. The one thing that makes us doubt this move is that the Red Sox have a lot of talent on the left side of the field in Rafeal Devers and Xander Bogaerts. We are not sure they will be willing to match big money offers when they don’t have an inherent need for Machado’s services. Then again, there’s no team in baseball that wouldn’t improve by inking Machado to a long term deal. Players like Machado don’t come around very often, so if the Red Sox want to make the big move, they could definitely try going after Machado. If they don’t win the World Series in 2018, expect them to push even harder.
8. San Francisco Giants
This is one of the better fits for Machado, as the Giants could really use an elite third baseman and/or shortstop. On top of that, they desperately need some more power in their bats. So from the Giants perspective, Machado has to be at the top of their priority list this summer. The question is, will Machado want to go there? It’s a big market with a recent history of winning, but their team seems to be trending the wrong way. Signing Machado could definitely help change that, there is no guarantee he wants to become the face of a rebuilding team.
7. New York Yankees
Every time there is a high quality free agent on the open market, you can bet your last dollar that the New York Yankees are at least asking for a meeting. The Yankees have historically gone after big free agent after big free agent, and we could see that continue with Manny Machado — especially if they are unable to secure the services of Harper. Not only are they in one of the biggest markets on the planet and currently field a great team of young players, but they also have a ton of financial strength to match or exceed almost any offer that other teams might make. While they have a pretty outstanding line-up throughout (including shortstop Didi Gregorious and third baseman Miguel Andujar), adding Machado could definitely take them to the next level and give birth to another Yankees dynasty.
6. Chicago Cubs
Before Machado ended up being traded to the Dodgers, there were plenty of rumors that the Cubs were interested too. After all, they are hanging on to first place in the NL Central, gearing up for another postseason run, and are just one year removed from their first World Series title in 108 years. In short, they want to win again while they still can. While they missed out on the Manny sweepstakes at the 2018 trade deadline, that doesn’t mean the big spending Cubs won’t take a crack at him in the off-season. With Machado insisting he wants to play shortstop, he would be a huge upgrade over Chicago incumbent Addison Russell (.272/.343/.404 career slash line, with 51 home runs and 226 RBI in 3.5 seasons). Imagine a Cubs infield of Kris Bryant, Machado, Javy Baez, and Anthony Rizzo!
5. New York Mets
While they might be the “younger brother” in the Big Apple, the Mets are still in New York City, and that might be enough to entice a big ticket free agent like Manny Machado to consider signing. The city would likely embrace him as the biggest star the Mets have had in years. In addition to that, the Mets could use some offense and likely wouldn’t have a problem throwing the check book at Machado to get his high-powered bat and other abilities in a Mets uniform. While they aren’t as likely a pick as the other team from New York, we could definitely see Machado being a Met — a team that desperately needs to do something right for a change.
4. Washington Nationals
While this one might be a little out of left field, but hear me out. There is a very good chance that Bryce Harper, who has been in Washington his entire career, finds a new home in free agency this offseason. As a result, the Nationals will have a lot of extra money to spend and will be looking to bring in someone to fill the “star player” void. While he doesn’t play the same position as Harper, Machado could be a huge addition to the team and help them not miss a beat on the field.
3. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals were thought of as one of the teams that would try to acquire Machado from the Orioles via a trade this year. Of course, they were unable to do that, but don’t expect them to give up the dream just yet. They could really use a power hitter in the middle of their order, and Manny Machado could fit the bill (they were also heavily linked to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson before injuries derailed his season — Machado is an even better option). Also, their current starters at 3B and SS are very versatile, and could be moved to other positions if need be, to make room for Machado. They also have a massive TV deal in place ($1 billion from Fox Sports over the next 15 years), so not only do they have the cash to spend, but they could certainly use one of the game’s best players to boost those ratings!
2. Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies have been a team that has been rumoured to be going after a big name this offseason, whether it is Harper or Machado. They have a ton of money to work with, and a good, young squad (including Rhys Hoskins, Odubel Herrera, and ace starter Aaron Nola) that is already atop the NL East as of the writing of this article. While they might not win right away, even with Machado, they can definitely offer him a high-priced and long-term contract, and potentially set themselves up to be in the championship hunt for years to come.
1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Of course, it makes sense to finish off with the team Machado was recently traded to, the Los Angeles Dodgers. While they traded for him as a rental to help them win the World Series this year, their relationship might mature faster than many expect. That could lead to Manny deciding he wants to remain in Los Angeles. The Dodgers already have an incredible roster, so having Machado around for the long haul could help them be dangerous for many years to come. The Dodgers aren’t afraid to spend on free agents (they already have one of the highest payrolls in baseball), so they are definitely a team to consider. While they can’t offer him more money or a longer term than anyone else (like in the NBA or NHL), there are plenty of great things about L.A. that Manny might hold dear — the warm weather, a competitive ball team, and insanely large paychecks.