Manny Machado; like cold beer on a summer day, he’s in everyone’s mouth. By the deadline we will likely see a move that would send the electric 25 year old short stop to a legit contender with mid-season playoff hopes. Whether Machado suits up in sunny Southern California, The City of Brotherly Love, or in the classic New York pins & stripes, Brewers fans have one thing on their mind; World Series baby!
For a good chunk of Milwaukee’s fans, this idea has been nothing more than a far off mirage. The holy land of America’s past time has not even been tasted since the amazing run of the hometown team in the 1982 season, seeing The Crew fall short, losing in a full seven game series to the St. Louis Cardinals. 2008 and 2011 saw other hopeful teams give it everything they had, but again, not enough. For me, the trade for C.C. Sabathia in 2008 was a move that will likely hold weight in Wisconsin sports history for the remainder of time. The Bucks, Packers, and Brewers have long held a tradition of winning and promoting from within. The idea that we need to make blockbuster moves is so anti-Wisconsin it hurts. A blue collar state that plays blue collar sports. Why trade a talented farm system when you should trust your process and ability to draft exciting young talent?
While C.C. Sabathia might be one of the largest moves in Wisconsin sports history behind the free agent signing of Reggie White, it begs the questions if Machado is the next big story to come from this blue collar state’s sports franchises. Manny Machado would add something that the Brewers have desperately needed since day one of the 2018 campaign: offensive consistency. Machado would immediately make the Brewers’ starting offensive lineup lethal, and ready for the sport’s biggest stage. With a current 2018 average of .312 and an absurd .941 OPS, Machado could very well be the answer to a gaping offensive hole in the middle of Milwaukee’s young infield.
Machado, much like Sabathia in 2011, however, would demand a hefty price tag. With arguably one of the best farm systems in the MLB, General Manager David Stearns and the entire front office, as well as the entire Brewers’ fanbase would have to answer one big question; how much is too much?
While the goal has always been (and will always be) to win championships, how much is the organization willing to give up in long term, highly touted prospects, for a man that could provide a legit championship window the size Bernie’s slide? While beggars can’t be choosers, the hope to win it all in 2018 is a lofty peak to climb. Should The Crew make a move for Machado, it would be in their best interest to insure that a contract extension could be made that would keep Machado in the Wheat and blue for several years. To get Machado for a one year rental has the potential of clearing out 3-5 of your top 10 prospects (along with any active roster players and cash considerations) for a win immediately mentality.
Without an additional push for an extension, that is exactly what it could turn into. We win now, immediately, get it done. While Milwaukee absolutely has the pieces to put together a great run, it has forever been ingrained that you have the best chance to win when you set yourself up for long continued success. Much like the Lebron James championship discussion goes, Milwaukee fans would love nothing more than to win it all. Sure he’s 3-5, but he has been there an astounding 8 times! Sure, fans would love to be invited to the dance, but wouldn’t you rather dance at 1 in 3 trips, then to never dance at all?
Clearing top prospects is a method to win Championships when the core pieces of an organization are in their prime or on the way down and out. Rentals can be the one final piece that allows an aging roster to make it to their dance. The Brewers, however, are young, skilled, smart, and built for a long future with sustained success. Their ability to keep a majority of prospects, including Keston Hiura and Brett Phillips, along with recently called Corbin Burnes, and the surprising 2018 emergence of Freddy Peralta could mean a dominant run for 5+ years. With both Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain both locked in through 2021 and 2022 respectively, a trade and sign for Machado would have every other MLB front office shaking at the knees.