A few days ago, the Milwaukee Brewers were reported to be one of the teams to make an offer for Manny Machado. Now, they’re seen as a frontrunner.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Arizona Diamondbacks were seen as the top pursuers of the Orioles stud infielder. Recent reports have it down to just the Brewers and the Dodgers at the top right now.
While we don’t know what players are being talked about or offered from the Brewers side, but we did hear about who the Orioles are targeting from the Dodgers.
Keibert Ruiz is the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect and Dustin May is their No. 10 prospect. This lines up similarly to the trade package we proposed for Machado, which included the Crew’s No. 3 prospect Lucas Erceg, and No. 11 prospect Marcos Diplan.
Keep in mind, this does not mean the Dodgers have agreed to put those two players in the deal. It just means the Orioles want them and the report from Morosi indicates the Dodgers won’t include Ruiz in the deal. Corbin Burnes is the Brewers’ No. 2 prospect, and the Orioles are likely to ask about him. But if the Dodgers balk at Ruiz, the Brewers can balk at Burnes.
How realistic is landing Manny Machado?
The chances are pretty good, and getting better by the day.
How well suited are the Brewers to land him?
They’re actually lined up the best. Most might think the Dodgers are because of the injury to Corey Seager and their strong farm system, but they’re hamstrung for two reasons. The first is their general unwillingness to move any prospects. They hoard theirs, as they have the right to, but not including their best prospects can hurt.
The second reason the Dodgers are hamstrung is because of contractual obligations. LA wants to stay below the luxury tax and may need the Orioles to take on some of Machado’s remaining $16 million salary. The Milwaukee Brewers won’t have to make such accommodations. They can take on all the money for this year and it could even help lessen the prospect return.
GM David Stearns has a bunch of intriguing pitching prospects, and pitchers are what the Orioles are rumored to want in negotiations for Machado. Stearns has a couple options and he can throw in some big league ready assets like Domingo Santana, Brandon Woodruff, or Keon Broxton that are currently stuck in a positional backlog and might need a change of scenery.
The headliner for Machado might be expensive, but by including some of the big league ready guys, Stearns can save some of his top prospects as well. The organizational depth that Stearns has acquired over the last three years is not only for shuttling players between Milwaukee and Colorado Springs.
If Stearns can convince the Orioles to accept a headliner of Luis Ortiz or Lucas Erceg instead of someone like Corbin Burnes, he should accept the trade immediately and hang up before Orioles GM Dan Duquette (or Owner Peter Angelos for that matter) can change his mind.
How close is a deal to getting done?
According to this report from Buster Olney, they’re getting closer and closer to a deal. The football analogy of the 35 yard line and driving is interesting and raises one big question: Which quarterback is doing the driving?
Is this an Aaron Rodgers 35 yard line and driving situation, is it a Joe Flacco 35 yard line and driving, or a Brett Hundley 35 yard line and driving? Because those are three different situations all dependent on who is running the drive.
We could see a deal done by the All Star break by the way things are looking. And with rental players, the earlier they’re acquired, the better the return for the selling team.
This is possible. The Milwaukee Brewers have a realistic chance of landing the biggest name on the trade market. And they can keep enough of their top prospects to make the deal worthwhile. Machado is a rental, but he’s a great one and he can help push this team over the hump.