Monday was a rough day for Dodgers fans. The boys in blue dropped yet another game to the D-Backs. They’ve lost six of their last seven games and currently sit at 12-16. To make matters worse, we learned that our beloved shortstop would be out for the season.
Corey Seager will be out for the remainder of the season, undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Corey Seager will undergo Tommy John surgery. He is done for 2018.
— Andy McCullough (@ByMcCullough) April 30, 2018
This comes as a major blow to the team, as they are already without their third baseman, Justin Turner. How valuable has Corey been since being called up a few seasons ago?
Since the start of his 2016 rookie season, Seager's 12.0 wins above replacement are the 4th-most among all primary shortstops & most among any Dodgers player. https://t.co/uAlKdanAux
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 30, 2018
Yeah, that valuable.
For the Dodgers, it’s going to be more than difficult to be without one of your best hitters for the remainder of the season. In the meantime, it appears as if Chris Taylor is going to get the most innings there, while the Dodgers continue to shuffle around the outfield.
With a guy like Corey Seager going down, how could you ever replace him?
What if I told you, it could potentially happen.
In the off-season, the Dodgers were one of many teams to inquire about the Baltimore Orioles’ shortstop, Manny Machado. Obviously, the talks went nowhere, as he is still a member of the ball club. But with the news of Seager being done for the season, could the Dodgers be in play for Manny?
Why the Dodgers SHOULD trade for Machado
It’s crazy to think that the Dodgers could lose a player like Corey Seager, and actually UPGRADE at the position. If you haven’t watched Manny Machado play, you may want to buy a subscription to MLB.TV. To put it simply, the guy is good.
Playing shortstop for the first season in his career, Machado is already considered one of the best. He won two gold gloves playing third base, and now he is at his natural position. His range is unreal, and more impressively, so is his arm strength. If I were a betting man, I would put a good amount of money on him walking away with his third gold glove at season’s end.
All this amazing talk about his fielding, did I mention he could swing the bat too? Machado is having arguably his best season at the plate. He’s going to finish the month of April with nine home runs and 22 runs driven in. More impressively, doing it while hitting .361, which leads the majors. He also holds an OPS of 1.124, which is third highest in the league.
Not only are you getting one of the best fielders in the league, you’re also getting one of the best hitters in the league as well.
Why the Dodgers SHOULD NOT trade for Machado
Picking up a player of the caliber sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that’s because it most likely is. There are a few obstacles needed in order for Machado to be playing at Chavez Ravine.
First things first, that whole luxury tax thing.
Remember when the Dodgers were splurging all that money years ago? Well, they’re still paying for that — kinda. The Dodgers were FINALLY able to get under the $197 million luxury tax threshold this off-season. Ironically, a trade of Matt Kemp is what helped them do it.
Dodgers were already at ~$182-183m in luxury tax payroll, before accounting for Maeda's bonuses. It would take some creativity to fit Manny Machado (~$13m remaining rest of year) and stay under the $197m threshold
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) April 30, 2018
This new Dodgers regime is all about staying under that number. Now that they’ve finally done it, why would they risk going back over it?
Another reason. It would take a lot.
And by a lot, I mean, A LOT.
Yes, Manny Machado will be a free agent at season’s end, so shouldn’t the Dodgers be able to get him at a discount? Probably not the case. Whether or not the Orioles have any intentions of re-signing their superstar, they will not let him go for cheap.
If the Dodgers traded for Manny Machado early in the season — or even in July — the prospect price tag would be enormous. LAD's Andrew Friedman has never given up a boatload of high-end prospects in a deal, ever.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 30, 2018
This is true. Aside from dealing away Willie Calhoun last summer (we won’t mention for who), the Dodgers have done a spectacular job of keeping their homegrown talent. Because of this, back-to-back Dodgers have been named Rookies of the Year, and they still have some of the best young talents in the game. Why throw that away and change what you’ve been doing so well now?
If the Dodgers were serious in acquiring Machado, it would likely require them to part ways with either Alex Verdugo or Walker Buehler, two of their top prospects. The Orioles could be greedy and ask for both. Which they have every right to. Both those guys are part of the Dodgers’ long-term plans, so it would be unlikely for them to deal them, especially for a guy who might not even be with the team a year from now.
All this, and I haven’t even mentioned the hefty price tag Machado comes with. He’s a somewhat cheap option this season, but that’s not the issue. He’s set to become a free-agent next year, where they’re already projecting him to haul in nearly $400 million. Yeah, that’s insane.
While this Dodgers team obviously is no stranger to opening up their checkbooks, it’s not likely they’ll shell out that kind of money. Especially when their first priority will be offering whatever it takes to keep Kershaw.
Another issue that could present itself is the realigning of a bunch of pieces. Machado has stated he clearly wants to play shortstop from now on. Meaning, you’ll have to find a spot for Seager. A lot of people expect him to eventually move to third base because of his size. If this is the case, you got to find room for Justin Turner. Clearly, this could get difficult.
As you can see, the Dodgers have some thinking to do. The Seager news was heartbreaking, and it’s something they’ll need to figure out as soon as possible. If the Dodgers think Machado will help them get out of this slump and give them a chance to compete for a title, by all means, go for it. However, if you don’t want to risk your future, and more importantly, your salary, it’s best that they stay put.
What do you guys think the Dodgers should do?
Also, one final thing.
I’ll just leave this here.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) May 1, 2018
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