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Phillies, Dodgers Among Favorites to Land Manny Machado in Free Agency

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in MLB Baseball

Updated Mar 26, 2020 · 1:59 PM PDT

Manny Machado
It remains to be seen where Manny Machado will be playing his trade in 2019. Photo by Ian D'Andrea (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Manny Machado headlines a star-studded free agency class heading into the MLB offseason
  • Machado hit .182 with three RBI in the World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Phillies (+150) listed as the favorite to sign the versatile infielder, while the Dodgers are second (+225)

Manny Machado’s trip to Hollywood didn’t have the storybook ending he envisioned.

Acquired by the Dodgers in the middle of July, Macahdo’s former team, the Orioles, capitalized on his value. They knew he’d be gone at the end of the year, likely wanting to head to a contender.

Now that his season is over and missing a World Series ring, Machado now controls his destiny. The Dodgers will likely make a push to keep him, but even after a three month sales pitch, they aren’t the favorites for his services.

Manny Machado Free Agency Odds

Where will Manny Machado play in 2019? Odds
Philadelphia Phillies +150
Los Angeles Dodgers +225
New York Yankees +300
Miami Marlins +800
Los Angeles Angels +900
Atlanta Braves +1400

One of the teams that was in the running to nab Machado at the deadline was the Philadelphia PhilliesThey are now listed as the favorites to land Machado and, oddly enough, Bryce Harper.

As CBS points out, the acquisitions make sense. Even if the Phillies only land Machado, it gives them the freedom to make other moves. Scott Kingery blocks his way at shortstop, but Maikel Franco becomes tradeable for help in other areas.

In terms of prospects, Alex Bohm is the only one in Philly’s top ten who could push for time. He’s not expected to be MLB ready until 2021.

Could Manny Machado Stay with the Dodgers?

This was something we broke down following the trade, but it’s timely to revisit.

The Dodgers are the Dodgers. If they want Manny Machado, they have the money to keep Manny Machado. Even if they re-sign Clayton Kershaw. It would just take a little bit of shuffling on the infield.

Corey Seager will be back from Tommy John surgery next year, and Justin Turner has two years left.

You could conceivably sign Machado and have him play short next year. That alleviates the stress on Seager’s arm by leaving him at second for one season. It also clears up one of the black holes on the Dodgers’ roster this season.

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The thing is, no one is saying it’s even a remote possibility Machado stays. At the time of the trade it was considered more than a rental. Now it’s tough to find anyone who shares that point of view.

Manny Machado Career Stats

Regular Season .297 175 513 398 .367 .538
Postseason (Career) .213 4 14 7 .268 .382

Who Else Stands Out in the Race for Manny Machado?

New York is at the top of the list too. The Yankees know Machado well from his time in the division, but despite their meaty odds (+300), pitching is their problem. They’ve never been averse to adding another bat, but it’s tough to see them sinking their time into Machado and letting the arms on the market sail by.

The dark horse in all of this may be the Phillies’ division rival, the Atlanta Braves.

The dark horse in all of this may be the Phillies’ division rival, the Atlanta Braves. During the season there was a report that the Braves had interest in Josh Donaldson. That was after they missed out on Machado.

Now, with nothing but money in the way of acquiring the two-time Gold Glove winner, the Braves could finally land the big fish. Like the Phillies, it would take a little maneuvering. It may mean a change of scenery or positon for Johan Camargo or Dansby Swanson, but it would be worth it to land Machado.

Bank on Manny Machado Heading East

The LA market is perfect for Machado. The Dodgers have a steady stream of cash, a big stage, and a fan base that seems to embrace his…’quirks’. That’s why, in my mind, the Dodgers make the most sense. However, there’s just not enough evidence so say the Dodgers will make a competitive bid to  keep him.

If he isn’t staying in LA, then he’s headed to the NL East. And while they’re a dark horse, the Braves present a great big-money option.

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