Many New York Mets fans on social media this past week have been swirling up a rumor and idea that one of the offseason moves the Amazins should consider this winter is trading for Padres All Star third baseman Manny Machado. While it’s true that Machado is still relatively young at 29 years of age and may have four to five still highly productive seasons left in him at minimum, there are still a number of reasons I would be hesitant to pull the trigger on a deal like this.
First off the Mets have already committed paying Francisco Lindor 10 years at a clip of $34 million a year starting in 2022. Looking over the mammoth contract that Machado signed back in 2019 with San Diego, he will still have seven years and $224 out of the $300 million still owed to him if he were to come to New York also. The Mets still have so many holes they need to fill up and allotting $66 million combined a year to just the left side of your infield doesn’t seem like it would be a prudent way to build out the rest of the roster.
Also with free agents such as Marcus Stroman, Michael Conforto and Javier Baez still out there to be negotiated with, not to mention other productive players on the free agent market that could be bought in to improve our ball club, why should the Mets spend so much on just two players and prevent themselves from acquiring an array of more widespread and affordable talent?
Many fans and media members are excited at the idea that the Mets can boost their offense up by acquiring an all star player like Manny Machado this off season.
It should also be noted that the Padres aren’t going to just give us a 30+ doubles, .275 hitter with 30 home run and 100 RBI power away just for nothing. More than likely the Mets will have to part ways with some combination of farm system talents like Francisco Alvarez, Brett Batty and even Jeff McNeil just to get the conversation started. With our farm system already as barren of talent as it is outside our top 6 prospects, I am not sure if mortgaging our future for four good seasons of Manny Machado is the right move to make.
Now many people on the other side of this argument would bring up the fact that Manny Machado plays solid defense and gives us decent production at a position we are in need of receiving that from at third base. In his 10 full big league seasons he has made the All Star team and won the gold glove multiple times at the the hot corner. He also still has a rocket of an arm. Many fans who are in favor of this trade do make valid points.
But again, I would put payroll flexibility as well as player position flexibility as more of a priority towards building a winning team than just trying to put expensive all star names at every position. Don’t forget that the Mets payroll will get even tighter next year as Robinson Cano is coming back after serving his yearly suspension and that is another $24 million the Mets will have added to their team payroll that wasn’t on there this past season.
It’s also important to note that outside of third base, Machado really doesn’t play any other position defensively very well. His past teams tried moving him to short stop for a while but he was struggling there with errors. I think the Mets would be better off going after a player like Kris Bryant, who is younger and may be had at a cheaper AAV and for less years than Manny Machado. Bryant would provide much of the same offensive punch that Machado does, plus he can also play the outfield in case Michael Conforto signs somewhere else this offseason. Signing Bryant would also give the Mets a little more flexibility to go after bringing back either Marcus Stroman or Javy Baez this offseason.
Solidifying our starting rotation as well as stacking up on more impactful offense should be the top two priorities for the Mets organization this winter. But this is only going to be accomplished through shrewd trades, good youth development and signing good players on team friendly contracts this offseason. I don’t see Machado’s contract being much of a benefit to us after a few years. Going after another big name player with an even bigger albatross of a contract may just lead us towards more despondency instead of towards more hopefulness down the road.