Manny Machado has been on the trade block since winter time. Baltimore is putting together one of the worst seasons in modern history as they currently sit with a 24-65 record. With Machado on an expiring deal, it is safe to say the Orioles will be looking to move him before July 31st.
Ken Rosenthal reported over the weekend that the Dodgers and Brewers were the two suitors pushing hardest for Machado. The Dodgers and Brewers both have solid farm systems to pick from. However, what gives the Brewers an advantage is the amount of organizational depth they have. Keon Broxton and Domingo Santana are both big league outfielders that just can’t crack the lineup due to better players being in their way (Braun, Yelich, Cain, Thames). Brett Phillips is right on the border of becoming a major leaguer as well. Adam Jones is a pending UFA for the Orioles at the end of this season. Baltimore has a very weak farm system and they are going to need some guys to play next year. Any three of Broxton, Santana, or Phillips could be a nice piece to throw into the deal.
Obviously, trading Machado leaves a hole at the shortstop position for Baltimore. Orlando Arcia was once the Brewers top prospect in the system and was thought to be the everyday shortstop for the club this year. His struggles at the plate this season have caused two minor league demotions for him. Arcia is still just 23 years old and has a few more years to develop at the plate. Arcia could be another intriguing piece to a potential Machado trade.
Whenever you swing a deal like this, you more than likely have to throw a pitching prospect in the trade as well. The Brewers are weaker in this spot organizationally than in other areas. However, they do have prospects such as Corbin Burnes and Luis Ortiz (acquired in Lucroy trade) that they could offer up. Burnes is the #2 prospect in the Brewers system and #1 pitching prospect. He was amazing in the minor leagues last year as a 22 year old where he posted a 1.67 ERA in 145 innings between AA and A. Ortiz is one year younger than Burnes and is putting up average numbers in AA. Burnes is definitely the more attractive piece here, but both would be good trade bait.
There are definitely some players I would not like to see the Brewers depart with.
- Everyday guys (Shaw, Aguilar, Cain, Yelich)
- Starting pitching (Anderson, Chacin, Suter, Guerra, Peralta)
- Bullpen guys (Hader, Knebel, Jeffress, Williams)
With that being said, here is what I think a good trade for both sides would look like:
To Milwaukee :
Manny Machado (SS/3B)
To Baltimore :
Corbin Burnes (RHP)
Domingo Santana (OF)
Brett Phillips (OF)
Orlando Arcia (SS)
A trade like this has plenty of potential to go wrong if you are the Brewers. Domingo Santana blasted 30 homers in 2017. Brett Phillips has shown some signs that he can be a fantastic ball player. Corbin Burnes is a young and talented pitcher in which the Brewers could really use. Orlando Arcia was thought to be one of the brightest prospects in the league for a while and he is still only 23. If all of these guys pan out to be major league players, it could really leave a sting in the hearts of Brewer fans. It is a hefty price to pay for a 2-3 month rental.
The Brewers are in first place in the NL Central by just 1.5 games. The Cubs are a great team and have the talent to catch up in the matter of a 2 game losing streak. The biggest issue for the Brewers has been the production from the middle infield. Manny Machado is a legitimate MVP candidate who fixes that problem immediately. What if it wins the Brewers the division? Maybe even a playoff round? The World Series?! Machado is worth the gamble to me. Just like CC Sabathia was back in 2008.