Baltimore Orioles: Machado is no longer the best 3rd baseman in the MLB
The Baltimore Orioles have been fortunate to call Manny Machado their third baseman for the last six years.
The Baltimore Orioles Machado has not only been an outstanding player in the American League but in 2016, he was the best third baseman on the planet.
This is not the case anymore. Machado has been replaced as the best man in the Hot Corner and it was confirmed by Phil Rogers at MLB.com.
Rogers listed the “Most Complete Players” at all nine positions. He named Nolan Arenado the most complete third baseman based on two statistics, OPS and Defensive Runs Saved. Arenado led all third basemen with an OPS of .959 and a DRS of +20.
Could Machado’s value drop?
Why is this news for Orioles fans? Because it could help the Orioles and keep fans coming to the stadium to watch their favorite third baseman. After the 2018 season, Machado will be a free agent. Some experts are predicting that Machado could ask for a contract that is close to that of Giancarlo Stanton. Some are thinking Machado’s free agent askings could be closer to $400 million.
But, if Machado is not the best, most complete player at his position, could his financial value drop? It could.
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Numbers in 2017
If contracts are based on WAR values, Machado needs to keep his up. In 2017, it was 3.5, Arenado’s was 7.2 Looking at Machado’s numbers, his OPS wasn’t even close to Arenado’s and neither was his DRS. Machado finished 2017 with an OPS of .782, which was the lowest he’s had in three seasons. His DRS was 6.
Machado has always had an impressive range at third base, which gives him the highlight reel plays on such a regular basis. But, even his range in 2017 was third in the MLB. Arenado and Kyle Seager moved slightly better. Not much, but enough to make a statistical difference.
Offensively, Machado had an off year in 2017. In regards to OPS, he was 12th in the MLB behind other third basemen like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rendon, and Alex Bregman. Machado hit a bunch of home runs, but other third basemen hit more, including Arenado.
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If Machado is going to fetch the epic dollars that people are discussing, he’s got to put up epic numbers and get back to the top of the pile. Yes, he has the Platinum Glove, but that was in 2013. Arenado has one less year in the league, but he has significantly more awards that Machado has. Machado will get paid, but if he continues to drop in the rankings, his pay might not be as much as it could have been.