Milwaukee Brewers: Should they block a Cubs deal for Manny Machado?

Matthew Dewoskin
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles follows through on a third inning two run double against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 7, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 07: Manny Machado #13 of the Baltimore Orioles follows through on a third inning two run double against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on April 7, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago Cubs are a rumored landing spot for Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. Should the Milwaukee Brewers dig into their farm system to block a potential deal?

If the Chicago Cubs move for Manny Machado, the return heading to the Baltimore Orioles won’t look all that impressive. The Cubs don’t have much down at the farm, and the Orioles are about to start a major rebuild if they deal their superstar. The Milwaukee Brewers could offer a much better package for Machado than the Cubs could potentially offer. The only question is, “Should they try?”

What would a Brewers deal for Machado look like?

Milwaukee Brewers prospect Corbin Burnes would make sense for the Orioles. The Brewers would likely have to toss in an outfielder and a lottery ticket from Low-A, but it really depends on how far they want to go. The Brewers have a deep farm system that they can use to acquire a talent like Machado, or at least make sure to outbid the Cubs.

It also depends on how intense the bidding gets. If the New York Yankees decide to go all in for Machado, they could put together a package that would blow away the Brewers.

What would a Cubs deal for Machado look like?

Get ready for a mediocre pitching prospect bouquet! The Chicago Cubs have six prospects that carry a 45-grade or higher, and only two have advanced past High-A. The best of the bunch is 19-year old shortstop Aramis Ademan, and then they have a few arms who are intriguing. Right-hander Oscar de la Cruz would likely become the centerpiece of a deal. The Orioles will likely want MLB-ready prospects, and the Cubs are lacking in that department. Any package they put together would come with several ‘lottery ticket’ prospects like Brendon Little and Alex Lange.

Addison Russell could also go in a deal for Machado, but the Brewers can also counter that with Orlando Arcia if they choose. The two shortstops really aren’t that different. The Brewers could even make a case that Arcia is farther along at the plate than Russell is.

Should the Brewers pull the trigger on a deal for Machado?

Burnes is a superior prospect to any player or group of players the Cubs could offer. He alone should keep the Orioles from making a deal with the Cubs. If the Milwaukee Brewers want to block a deal, they certainly have the ability, but so do several other teams. The Cubs really aren’t in a position to acquire a player like Machado, even if they go all in with Russell and their remaining prospects.

Next: Should the Brewers deal for Blake Swihart?

Adding Machado to the Milwaukee Brewers, even for a few months, would push the team past Wild Card contention. They would earn ‘legit contender’ status with Machado in their lineup. While pitching is a clear need, a deal for a player like Machado in a contract year is worth exploring, even if it impacts the team down the road. Prospects come and go, but banners fly forever.

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