Another day and another day without the Dodgers or any of the other MLB teams making a major free agent. That should change soon as Manny Machado is supposed to decide his new team very soon.
The Dodgers made a minor trade the other day picking up Jamie Schultz from the Tampa Bay Rays but when it comes to free agency they have not made any big moves since they signed Joe Kelly in December. Not exactly the type of off-season Dodger fans were looking for after Yasiel Puig was traded away. There is still plenty of time for the hot stove to get going though and the Dodgers will make at least a couple more moves.
At times this offseason the Dodgers have been involved with Bryce Harper although those rumors have died down lately with the Dodgers appearing to be on the outside looking in. One of the reasons that they are not fully in on Harper is because Bryce Harper is seeking a long term deal of eight to ten years or more. LA is willing to offer Bryce a high annual salary in return for a shorter term deal but it remains to be seen if that is something Harper and his agent want to do.
It appears the Dodgers have ruled out bringing back Manny Machado with Corey Seager returning for the 2019 season but that is something they should strongly reconsider. Manny would like to play shortstop but unless the Dodgers want to move Corey Seager to second base, Machado would need to play third base with Turner shifting to first base and Muncy to second base. It’s a lot of infield shifting but for a talent like Machado, it would be well worth the hassle.
Like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado will turn 27 years old next season but he is expected to sign for fewer years and less money than Harper. According to recent reports, the bids for Manny are expected to be in the six to seven-year range with 200 million dollars being around the total amount of money involved.
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A seven-year deal for a soon to be 27 year old would hardly be a bad thing for the Dodgers as they would have third base or shortstop locked down for the next seven years. Many think that Corey Seager eventually ends up at third base so if Machado sticks at short the Dodgers would have the left side of their infield locked down for the foreseeable future. If a deal was for seven years then Machado would be 34 at the end of his contract which is the same age Justin Turner is right now.
Machado’s season average is a .282 batting average and 31 home runs a season while Harper’s average season is a .279 batting average and 32 home runs. The offensive statistics are pretty similar with the main difference being that Harper is an on-base machine. Defensively, Manny Machado is a much better player than Bryce Harper who is an average defender at best.
The Dodgers are likely going to miss out on Bryce Harper if his main concern is going for the most years and money on a contract. Manny Machado may not have been able to help guide the Dodgers to a World Series title but they definitely don’t make the World Series or even the postseason without him in 2018. They should strongly consider bringing Machado back and not close the door on his return.