For teams that fall short in the postseason, their goal is to bring in any key players that can help them the following year. That's the goal for any club actually, but for postseason teams there's a catch; it's bringing in any big-name players they think will have an impact in their lineup or pitching staff.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were rumored this weekend to be in on acquiring Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado in a trade this offseason. Though Machado would be a force to be reckoned with in a lineup that has Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, and Yasmany Tomas, Machado isn't the player the Snakes should go after this offseason, and here's why.
The infield is stacked
Machado has primarily been the Orioles' third baseman since he broke in with the club and Arizona has a powerful slugger in Lamb manning the hot corner. Though Machado might be an upgrade because of a better batting average, Lamb is the everyday guy even though he's been a disaster in the second half of the season each of the last two years.
Machado wouldn't fit at shortstop either though he could play that position for Baltimore in 2018. The D-backs have three shortstops in Chris Owings, Nick Ahmed, and Ketel Marte, who are all better than average on defense and can all swing the bat decently. It's likely Arizona could part ways with one of them but even then, having Machado in the lineup makes little sense when the platoon approach worked when all three guys were healthy last season.
Arizona will have to give up more than it wants for him
Orioles GM Dan Duquette won't admit it but the Orioles are going be in a rebuilding stage before or after the 2018 season and Machado won't be around during the process. Because Machado is a high profile player, the Orioles will want some young bats and arms in return for Machado.
Machado might be an upgrade at third over Lamb, but Lamb has become a fan favorite in the desert and the team appears set on having him for the next few years. They'd also have to give up pitching when they may not get any serviceable arms in return, which isn't something the Diamondbacks will want to risk. They'd be okay with giving up an arm like Patrick Corbin, but are the pitchers in the farm system ready to take on full time starting duties? Also, if the Orioles want someone in the farm system, it'll be one of Arizona's top ten prospects. With the team looking to be contenders for a few more years, chances are good they won't make any major farm players available.
Machado is a rental player
Machado will hit the open market as part of the big 2018 free agent class after next season, meaning he would only be in Arizona for one year unless he signed an extension. The reason Arizona could trade for outfielder JD Martinez last July was because they only had to give the Tigers three prospects in return. Even though Martinez has his eyes elsewhere, the Snakes lost nothing for the long-term in the deal.
With Machado, you're talking about possibly having a guy for one year at most and losing key players that could help the team win for years to come. Machado could re-sign with the Diamondbacks, but Arizona would have to part ways with ace Zack Greinke if that were to be the case. On top of that, the team may look to extend the contracts of certain players like Lamb and outfielder AJ Pollock either during the season or at the end of the year, and Machado wouldn't get the money he deserves.
He's a tempting option, but Manny Machado is not the missing piece the Arizona Diamondbacks need in 2018.