Just like they did at the 2017 non-waiver trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a splash this year with an eye on winning the World Series. Whereas they upgraded on pitching front last season by acquiring Yu Darvish, they strengthened their lineup in the form of Manny Machado.
On top of adding one of the game’s best talents and a right-handed bat to help provide balance, Machado filled a void at shortstop that was created when Corey Seager underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.
While Machado had been playing third base for the Baltimore Orioles, he shined up the middle for the Dodgers and answered questions over whether he was capable of playing shortstop at an elite level. Where the 26-year-old surprisingly struggled some was at the plate.
Nonetheless, Machado figures to sign a long-term, lucrative contract and as the Winter Meetings began, the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago White Sox were among his suitors, per Jon Heyman of Fancred:
Yankees like Manny Machado and will meet with Machado but source says they will not pay $300M for Machado. Phillies, Chisox and mystery teams(?) seen as main competitors.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 9, 2018
There’s some who believe Machado hurt his market with comments about hustling and questionable plays during the postseason. He’s since apologized for the remarks and maintained his focus is on helping any team win.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman admitted the optics on Machado’s play were not positive but made the distinction that they weren’t due to lack of care. While Friedman voiced public support of Machado, he’s considered unlikely to re-sign with the Dodgers.