As we approach the deadline, the whole MLB world waits for the Baltimore Orioles to trade superstar shortstop Manny Machado. What team would be the best fit for him though? In this article, we’ll examine how Machado fits with each team that has been rumored to be interested in acquiring him by looking at potential lineups with him in it, as well as examining if acquiring him is the right move for the franchise.

Arizona Diamondbacks

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Photo Cred: calltothepen.com

Predicted Lineup:

Jon Jay RF

Paul Goldschmidt 1B

Manny Machado SS

Jake Lamb 3B

AJ Pollock CF

David Peralta LF

Daniel Descalso 2B

John Ryan Murphy C

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup:

Jon Jay RF

AJ Pollock CF

Manny Machado SS

Paul Goldschmidt 1B

Jake Lamb 3B

David Peralta LF

John Ryan Murphy C

Daniel Descalso 2B

Pitcher

How he fits: The Diamondbacks have gotten limited production from their middle infield, and seem to be missing some firepower in their lineup. Machado would fix both of these problems, as he’d give Arizona the second star they’ve been for to compliment Paul Goldschmidt. They became one of baseball’s elite teams last year when they traded for JD Martinez last year, and I’d expect an even bigger jump this if they acquired a more all around star in Machado. It’s a perfect fit, as Machado (.311/.378/.565) would step in as a major upgrade over Nick Ahmed (.223/.282/.412) offensively. Defensively, it’s a major downgrade by the metrics (-29 drs), but Machado’s WAR (1.8) is still higher than Ahmed’s (1.4), and isn’t as bad of a defender as the metrics say.

Fit: 9.5/10

Need: 10/10

Los Angeles Dodgers

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Photo Cred: NBC Los Angeles

Predicted Lineup:

Joc Pederson LF

Max Muncy 2B

Manny Machado SS

Justin Turner 3B

Cody Bellinger 1B

Matt Kemp RF

Yasmani Grandal C

Chris Taylor CF

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup:

Chris Taylor CF

Manny Machado SS

Justin Turner 3B

Cody Bellinger 1B

Matt Kemp RF

Max Muncy 2B

Yasmani Grandal C

Joc Pederson LF

Pitcher

How he fits: Machado’s fit in LA isn’t ideal. With the lineup as it is currently, the Dodgers already are having trouble giving everyone playing time. With both Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez doing well at short, it doesn’t seem as Machado will make as much of a difference with the Dodgers as he would with different teams. If they decide to move Taylor or Hernandez to the outfield, then that will only take away playing time from Joc Pederson and Matt Kemp, arguably their two most productive players outside of Max Muncy, who’s playing time would also be in jeopardy if they try to move Taylor or Hernandez to second. The Dodgers would be much better off adding to their bullpen than going all in for a superstar in Machado.

Fit: 3/10

Need: 5/10

Philadelphia Phillies

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Photo Cred: nj.com

Predicted Lineup

Cesar Hernandez 2B

Odubel Herrera CF

Manny Machado SS

Rhys Hoskins LF

Carlos Santana 1B

Nick Williams RF

Jorge Alfaro C

Maikel Franco 3B

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup

Cesar Hernandez 2B

Odubel Herrera CF

Manny Machado SS

Rhys Hoskins LF

Carlos Santana 1B

Nick Williams RF

Maikel Franco 3B

Jorge Alfaro C

Pitcher

How he fits: Machado’s a good fit for the Phillies at shortstop, but he’s an even better one at third base. That’s¬†because the Phillies have two young middle infielders in Scott Kingery and JP Crawford, so having Machado play short would give them less playing time and therefore would hurt their development. If Machado were to play third base however, he’d be a major upgrade offensively and defensively over Maikel Franco, who has regressed from his amazing rookie season. It’s unlikely that Machado moves back to third, but if he did, he would be an excellent fit in Philadelphia. Even if he stays at short, he makes the Phillies among the NL’s best teams if not the best.

Fit: 8.5/10

Need: 8.5/10

Chicago Cubs

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Photo Cred: bleedcubbieblue.com

Predicted Lineup

Albert Almora CF

Manny Machado SS

Anthony Rizzo 1B

Kris Bryant 3B

Javier Baez 2B

Kyle Schwarber LF

Willson Contreras C

Jayson Heyward RF

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup

Javier Baez 2B

Manny Machado SS

Anthony Rizzo 1B

Kris Bryant 3B

Wilson Contreras C

Kyle Schwarber LF

Albert Almora CF

Pitcher

Jayson Heyward RF

How he fits: For some reason, many people have questioned Manny Machado’s fit with the Cubs. In reality though, Machado would turn the Cubs into a super team. A 2-3-4 of Machado, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant would be unstoppable. With all of them in the lineup, pitchers wouldn’t be able to work around them, and therefore all of them would see their production increase. Machado seems to be a downgrade defensively to Addison Russell, but by the eye test the average MLB fan can see that Machado may actually be an upgrade. The Cubs are in a position where they are well-rounded, but not good enough to win the world series. Adding Machado would make them the best team in baseball.

Fit: 9.5/10

Need: 8.5/10

Cleveland Indians

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Photo Cred: Bleacher Report

Predicted Lineup

Francisco Lindor SS

Manny Machado 3B

Jose Ramirez 2B

Edwin Encarnacion DH

Michael Brantley LF

Yonder Alonso 1B

Yan Gomes C

Lonnie Chisenhall RF

Tyler Naquin CF

Suggested Lineup

Francisco Lindor SS

Michael Brantley LF

Manny Machado 3B

Jose Ramirez 2B

Edwin Encarnacion DH

Yonder Alonso 1B

Lonnie Chisenhall RF

Yan Gomes C

Tyler Naquin CF

How he fits: The are a lot of moving parts in fitting Machado into the Indians lineup. First off, Machado would have to agree to go back to third, as Francisco Lindor is a much better defensive option at short stop. Then, the Indians would have to move Jose Ramirez from third base to second. So basically its swapping out Jason Kipnis, who is currently hitting .214/.293/.338 with a 0.1 WAR for Machado, who by contrast is hitting .311/.378.565 with a 1.8 WAR. The Indians currently have one of the best rotations in baseball, and a bullpen that still has Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. While they don’t have any sort of depth in their bullpen, it can be argued that upgrading offensively should be a much bigger priority for Cleveland. For a team that relies so heavily on switch hitters and lefties, adding a right-handed superstar in Machado makes perfect sense, and would give them arguably the best top of the lineup in baseball.

Fit: 9/10

Need: 10/10

St.Louis Cardinals

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Photo Cred: STL Today

Predicted Lineup:

Matt Carpenter 3B

Tommy Pham CF

Manny Machado SS

Jose Martinez 1B

Marcell Ozuna LF

Yadier Molina C

Jedd Gyroko 2B

Harrison Bader RF

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup

Tommy Pham CF

Manny Machado SS

Matt Carpenter 3B

Marcell Ozuna LF

Jose Martinez 1B

Jedd Gyroko 2B

Yadier Molina C

Pitcher

Harrison Bader RF

How he fits: The Cardinals are starting to fall out of the playoff race, as they are 43-41 currently. However, still expect them to be desperate and aggressive at the trade deadline as they look to avoid missing the playoffs for a third straight season. With shortstop Paul DeJong hurt, the Cardinals have needs at every infield position. The most ideal thing would be to have Machado play short and then move him to third and Matt Carpenter to second base when DeJong comes back. As for the need, the Cardinals need a difference maker like Machado badly. Unlike other clubs in this list, the Cardinals are a star away from just making the postseason, as their lineup has been awful with Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham failing to produce. Adding Machado into their lineup may just be the spark plug they need to get their offense going. The question though, will it be too late by the time they trade for him?

Fit: 8.5/10

Need: 8.5/10

Milwaukee Brewers

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Photo Cred: jsonline.com

Predicted Lineup:

Lorenzo Cain CF

Christian Yelich RF

Manny Machado SS

Jesus Aguilar 1B

Travis Shaw 3B

Ryan Braun LF

Jonathan Villar 2B

Manny Pina C

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup

Lorenzo Cain CF

Christian Yelich RF

Manny Machado SS

Jesus Aguilar 1B

Travis Shaw 3B

Ryan Bruan LF

Manny Pina C

Pitcher

Jonathan Villar 2B

How he fits: This is a long short from happening, but it makes a lot of sense. Coming into the season, the Brewers were hoping that prospect Orlando Arcia would be the team’s long-term shortstop. However, he’s struggled so bad that he’s been sent to Triple A and the team even drafted a short stop in the first round. Now, Arcia still may be the team’s short stop long term, but he’s likely not going to be a factor for the rest of the year. Getting Machado for the remainder of this season makes a lot of sense, as he’s surely a major upgrade over Brad Miller, the team’s current starting short stop. The only issue with a possible Machado trade is the team’s need for an ace is much greater than its need for another star offensive player. The Brewers should look at getting Chris Archer or Jacob deGrom first. If they fail to acquire one of those two though, Machado is an excellent plan B.

Fit: 9.5/10

Need: 8/10

Atlanta Braves

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Photo Cred: NY Daily News

Predicted Lineup

Ender Inciarte CF

Ozzie Albies 2B

Manny Machado 3B

Freddie Freeman 1B

Nick Markakis RF

Ronald Acuna LF

Tyler Flowers C

Dansby Swanson SS

Pitcher

Suggested Lineup:

Ozzie Albies 2B

Manny Machado 3B

Freddie Freeman 1B

Ronald Acuna LF

Nick Markakis RF

Dansby Swanson SS

Tyler Flowers C

Pitcher

Ender Inciarte CF

How he fits: This is another case where Machado would have to move to third base. Dansby Swanson is the team’s long-term shortstop, and his 10 drs show he’s one of the game’s best defensive shortstops. With top prospect Austin Riley set as Atlanta’s long term third baseman, Machado wouldn’t be in Atlanta for any longer than the rest of the season. He’d make a big difference though, as he’s a major upgrade over Johan Camargo at third base. Atlanta needs two things: a better bullpen and a better third baseman. The bullpen should be more of a concern over third base, as they don’t have any reliable options outside of Arodys Vizcaino. However, there are a lot of cheap veteran options that won’t hurt Atlanta’s deep farm system. This deep farm system includes a lot of pitching depth, so they probably have the easiest path to acquiring Machado. If they’re serious about winning the World Series, than they should go out and acquire him, as that would make them the World Series favorite.

While many of the teams listed here should trade for Machado, the two best fits for him are the Diamondbacks and Indians. He’d turn both of these teams into World Series contenders, and is worth the risk. As long as he’d be open to moving back to third base, I think Cleveland has more talent around him and a more clear need for him. If he’s persistent a playing shortstop, Arizona is also an extraordinary fit that needs another star next to Paul Goldschmidt and would become the NL’s best team.

It’s not every day that a player of Manny Machado’s caliber becomes available on the trade market. Teams that need him need to take advantage of this opportunity, and acquire him. We’ve seen so many trade deadline acquisitions, such as Justin Verlander and Hunter Pence, be the difference between winning the World Series and not making it. Therefore, teams serious on winning the World Series this year need to trade for him.

 

 

 

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