The St. Louis Cardinals appear to be out of the Manny Machado running as of now, and that should be considered sweet relief.
Look, Manny Machado is a great player, but the circus that is coming with him is not what the St. Louis Cardinals need. It seems that when the Orioles infielder rolls out of bed in the morning, there is yet another story to be written.
Most recently, Machado outwardly said that he is going to play shortstop. So, with that, the list of potential suitors has gotten shorter. The Cardinals have not been mentioned among the new group of teams.
Machado, Shortstop Extraordinaire?
First of all, Machado is making 16 million dollars this season. He will play where the team tells him to. Secondly, has he not seen himself at shortstop compared to third base? He is a third baseman, no contest.
In 2018, he has played 789 innings at shortstop. The most comparable season as far as innings played at third is back in 2014, when he played 737.1 innings. Machado’s UZR at third was 6.9, and at shortstop it is -7.8. It is not even close, he is a third baseman.
But, that is enough ranting. If Machado wants to ruin his defensive reputation at short, more power to him. If I am the St. Louis Cardinals, I read his statement and decide to stick with Paul DeJong.
No matter how talented the player, a rental is only worth it if they come back. I do not see Machado signing with St. Louis after the season. It is like Arizona watching J.D. Martinez in Boston this year, but an even higher profile player. That does not seem fun. Being able to say, ‘remember when we had that guy for a couple months?’ just isn’t worth the prospects it would take to get him.
Plus, if the move is made and the postseason doesn’t come, then what was the point? It’s like renting a Ferrari, but then crashing it. The Cardinals need to cover a seven game spread to win the NL Central.
That includes passing a Brewers team playing well, and a Cubs team that historically gets hot in the second half. It’s not impossible, but Machado might not be enough to push the team. Call it pessimism if you want, but crashing a Ferrari doesn’t sound like a fun risk to take.
There is no need for complete pessimism, but I am not a fan of a Machado deal. Especially if he thinks he can decide where he plays. That being said, a lineup card with his name would look really nice. Even if you crash it, driving the Ferrari is still nice while it lasts. I am not ignorant to that fact.
Bottom line, it is probably a good thing that the St. Louis Cardinals appear to have dropped out of the Machado sweepstakes. There just seem to be more reasons every day to avoid trading for the perennial All-Star, and that is just a hard thing to say.