St. Louis Cardinals: Here come Manny Machado rumors…again
By Trevor Hooth
Before Manny Machado was traded to the Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals were right in the thick of that rumor mill.
I regret to inform you that the St. Louis Cardinals are once again being roped into the conversation for Manny Machado. This time around, Jon Heyman is the source connecting the superstar infielder to St. Louis. A few days ago, he wrote about why the pairing would make sense.
To be fair there is no actual rumor, Heyman just calls the Cardinals a good fit. This is more of a ‘this team makes sense for this player’ kind of article. But that is how it starts, then it develops into a flurry of rumors.
The difference this time around is that the Cardinals would have to sign Machado, rather than send prospects to Baltimore. This will be his first time on the FA market, and he will have the ability to cash out.
Spotrac has a nifty Market Value tool for upcoming free agents to help determine what they are worth. The top comparable player listed is Jose Altuve, but Machado is valued at a slightly lower number.
Altuve’s average salary is $30 million. The value given to Machado is an average salary of $26 million over the life of an eight year deal. That brings the grad total to (all math done by the internet) upwards of $208 million over the life of the estimated deal.
To put the average salary in perspective, the massive contract signed by Giancarlo Stanton at the age of 25 gives him $25 million a year on average. Machado is 26 years old.
Reacting To Heyman’s Thoughts
Please, read what Heyman writes (linked above), because he makes several valid points beyond what I list. One of the big reasons the St. Louis Cardinals match up is that recent history says they want a big name infielder. The long, and storied, pursuit of Josh Donaldson is a huge indicator.
The most interesting idea was the revenue aspect. People often forget the business of the game, and that could play a role in the pursuit of a high-caliber name such as Machado. All in all, it does make sense.
My Thoughts On Machado
The main reason I’m not a fan of signing Machado is the same reason Heyman lists the pair fitting together. Earlier, the superstar infielder said he was a shortstop. The only situation that Machado would break that mentality for appeared to be for the Yankees.
With the pursuit of Donaldson, it would appear the best place for an infield bat would be the hot corner. If that is not enough, Paul DeJong is under contract until 2023 if the St. Louis Cardinals do not pick up the two years of options on the contract.
There was an investment made in DeJong that won’t be just thrown away. Sure, he could move to third to make room for Machado, but DeJong has not played third in the majors. His minor league track record there is not great, with a .938 fielding percentage in over 1500 innings.
If Machado will play third base, then more power to the Cardinals front office. The upside of having a superstar name in the lineup is amazing, and something St. Louis could use. But, the way things left off at the trade deadline, that is a big if.
The St. Louis Cardinals need a big bat from an infielder, there is little evidence pointing to the contrary. Ideally, that will come from a third baseman, which Machado used to be. Let’s hope he will be again, because he would look good with Birds on a Bat across his chest.