While many think the Indians are going after bullpen arms as we’re a little under four weeks away from the trade deadline, the organization could go all in to pursue a superstar player to get their first World Series championship in 70 years.
Machado is the biggest name on the trade market as he is on the final year under contract with the Baltimore Orioles and Baltimore will likely move the soon to be 26 year old, three-time All-Star before he leaves in free agency this winter.
The Indians aren’t the only team in on Machado. Obviously Arizona is according to the report by Morosi but the Los Angeles Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals have also been connected to Machado according to media reports.
This season for Baltimore, Machado is hitting .311 with 21 home runs and 59 runs batted and is the leading vote getter at the shortstop position for the American League in the All-Star Game.
Already in his seven-year major league career, Machado is a career .282 hitter with 159 home runs and 465 runs batted in. He’s a three-time All-Star, two-time Golden Glove winner and has finished in the top ten in MVP voting three times in his young career.
Both himself and Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will be the best players on the market when they become free agents this coming offseason and both could be in line for the biggest contracts in baseball history.
Now the Indians don’t have a need at shortstop and third base as they’re occupied by Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez respectively but if they can pull off a deal to acquire Machado, they can definitely make room for him by sliding Ramirez to second base and Machado taking third base. Add in the fact you have Edwin Encarnacion and Yonder Alonso splitting time at first base, you can make a case it’d be the best infield in all of baseball.
At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to the asking price by Baltimore for a player like Machado. Obviously he’s one of the best players in baseball and one of the top five shortstops in the game but teams may not want to give up top prospects for a guy who unless they’re a major market team with the ability to afford him long term, it’s a three month rental.
Indians have a deep farm system so they could take the chance and deal some of their top prospects and have reportedly said they would trade top prospects at the deadline to add talent.
If they’re willing to deal high minor league prospects for a bullpen arm, I would think they’d go all in for Machado in an effort to go for the World Series.
The only prospects I’d suggest could be off the table is Shane Bieber who is currently on the Indians roster and is pitching very well in the major league early on and RubberDucks pitcher Triston McKenzie who has a ton of upside and could be in Cleveland as early as next season.
I would also think Francisco Mejia is also off the table especially with Lonnie Chisenhall going down with an injury and the fact that Mejia has been on a tear at the plate with Triple-A Columbus, hitting .442 in his last ten games.
The Indians pursuit of Machado will be one to watch in the next few weeks to see if it’s legit or just another rumor.