Baltimore Orioles: Manny Machado and Cubs trade idea
If Baltimore Orioles fans aren’t already overwhelmed with Manny Machado trade ideas, they might soon be.
It seems like every team and every writer wants to get in on the Baltimore Orioles Gold-Glove player, but one ESPN writer had an interesting idea.
Jesse Rogers with ESPN.com proposed the idea that the Cubs and Orioles make a trade that involves Manny Machado and Addison Russell, the Cubs current shortstop as the centerpiece of the deal.
Throw in a left-handed pitcher
Honestly, this isn’t an awful idea, but it should also include at least one pitcher who is ready to go now. I’m going to suggest Mike Montgomery, a 28-year-old lefty. He’s a flexible pitcher who threw in 44 games in 2017 and he started 14 of them. In the Joe Maddon controlled dugout, Montgomery pitched in short and long relief and he closed games.
When he was with the Seattle Mariners in 2015, he pitched two complete-game shutouts. He’s arbitration eligible in 2019 and will not be a free agent until 2022. This is a guy that the Orioles could use and he would not break the budget. His career ERA is 3.45 and WHIP is 1.260.
The numbers on Russell
Throwing in Russell would also be a good deal for the Orioles. He’s all of 23 years old and has three full seasons under his belt. His first arbitration year is 2018 and he, like Montgomery, is not a free agent until 2022. In 2017, Russell and Montgomery combined to make about $1.2 million.
Russell was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics and was traded to the Cubs in 2014. He has been their go-to shortstop. He has had one All-Star season, in 2016, which was also the year the Cubs won the World Series.
Russell is a positive-WAR player, not quite with the numbers like Machado has. But, they are still respectable. He can also hit a few long balls – he only hit 12 in 2017, but Wrigley isn’t quite Camden Yards. Russell is an unassuming guy, but he can come through in clutch moments. His career batting slash is .240/.312/.408.
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Filling third base
Of course, a trade like this would leave a large Machado-sized hole at third base. Shortstops can also play third, they have the speed and agility to manage the hot corner. It wouldn’t take much for Jonathan Schoop, Tim Beckham, or Russell to do this. All three are similar in size, but Russell is the smallest at 6’0 and 200 pounds.
An NL trade wouldn’t be so bad
Trading Machado to an NL team would not be as painful for fans as trading him to an AL team. The big fear for fans is that the Chicago White Sox are in cahoots with the New York Yankees. Since there is no way that the Orioles would trade their biggest asset to the Evil Empire, a flip would have to happen.
The Cubs and Yankees have made a handful of trades in the past, but if the Cubs are going to make it to the post-season, they will have to get through the Yankees. At this point, a flip for a player like Machado would be unlikely.
Next: Orioles add pitchers through Rule-5 Draft
It seems like the Machado rumors and trade ideas keep blossoming. Soon, there will be suggestions to trade him to the most unlikely places like the Oakland A’s or the Detroit Tigers.