Only one week into spring training and there is already drama afoot concerning San Diego Padres infielder Manny Machado and his announcement that he plans to opt out of his contract at the end of the season. The market has only gotten more player-friendly since he signed with the Padres, and Machado’s camp is reportedly seeking for a $400 million mega-deal to begin next year.

The Padres have made an offer that didn’t quite do it for him, and unless there is some kind of resolution soon, it looks like Machado’s time in Brown and Gold pinstripes may be coming to an end.

As with many big-ticket free agents in the Steve Cohen era, the Mets have already been linked as a potential suitor for Machado by Jon Heyman. That being said, the Mets shouldn’t wait until the offseason – Billy Eppler should be engaging Padres GM AJ Preller as soon as possible to gauge San Diego’s interest in a potential trade.

It is unlikely that the Padres will trade Machado before the start of the season, as they are looking to compete for a World Series this year, but if they feel confident that with Xander Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr. both in the fold for 2023 that Machado is expendable there is a chance. Between those two and Ha-Seong Kim coming off a 5.1 bWAR season, San Diego has an embarrassment of riches in the left side of the infield.

So why would he make sense for the Mets? Obviously that is a semi-rhetorical question. Machado is an MVP-level player who has spent most of his career at third base, one of the positions of greatest need on the team.

The Achilles heel of the Mets last season was a lack of power hitting, and Machado fills the need for another big bopper in the lineup along with a high-average, high on-base percentage player to stretch the lineup out further. Metrics are not as high on his defense as they were early in his career, but Machado is still an above average defender at third base.

His value to the team over Eduardo Escobar and Brett Baty is self-evident, and his history in Baltimore with Buck Showalter should make for an easier transition.

The question that comes after “are the Padres open to trading Machado now or at the deadline?” is if the Mets would be willing and able to meet San Diego’s asking price. The Padres would undoubtedly ask for two of the top prospects in the organization as a starting point, and that is the kind of return we’ve yet to see Eppler deal.

One has to imagine that the Padres would be asking for at least two of Brett Baty, Kevin Parada, and Alex Ramirez, plus others. Even at that steep a price, it is worth the Mets exploring a potential trade.

Having Machado in the lineup for a pennant chase and a postseason run would be a huge boon to the Mets, especially if Daniel Vogelbach falters as DH and/or the team has to roll with Omar Narvaez and Tomas Nido at catcher all season. The Mets did a lot to make their pitching better, but next to nothing to improve the everyday lineup in 2023, which they needed to do.

Even if Eppler is rebuffed in his overtures now during March, perhaps the Padres would change their minds in July and decide that the time was then to deal Machado. If that is the case, you want them to know that you’re interested and willing to make a trade work. And if that happens, it could mean the World Series trophy coming back to Queens.

8 comments on “Mets should inquire about Manny Machado

  • Brian Joura

    It’s fun to be realistically connected to any big name who’s available or who might become available.

    Machado would be a terrific get. I’d rather have Ohtani.

  • Denis Engel

    Many years ago I advocated for the Mets acquiring Giancarlo Stanton. Boy was I wrong. Machado has that same feel. Let him sign with the Giants.

  • Boomboom

    Definitely prefer ohtani but it’s not impossible to imagine uncle Steve going after both

  • Metsense

    Machado is an elite player. The Mets don’t have a pitching ace in waiting in their minor leagues. Ohtani is a better fit with their apparent needs. Corbin Burnes also be a good fit and also he has another two years control, whereas with Machado and Ohtani have only one year control.

  • NYM6986

    Would love to have Machado and have no issue giving top prospects for him but only if he is signed. Can’t give up anything to the Padres for a rental. I like him over Ohtani despite Ohtani being a once in a lifetime player. My apprehension is when Ohtani suffers an injury, you lose not only an ace on the staff, but one of your better hitters. He will also cost $50 million a year. I do believe the Mets need another big HR bat and it seems we will have to wait until the deadline to get one.

  • ChrisF

    I just dont see this happening. Cohen is making very clear he wants a first class farm system and has over-leveraged financial commitments for now. I just dont see unloading top prospects as in line for collecting Machado. He’s awesome, and Buck absolutely loves him – that cant be ignored. So in the Ohtani v Machado sweepstakes, I think Ohtani serves the team better. Afterall, a team con never have enough pitching. We all hope Baty can make it at 3B and given a bit more seasoning, I sure hope he becomes the left corner anchor for a long long time.

  • AgingBull

    I may have and unpopular opinion, but I am a hard pass on Machado. He is elite, statistically, but he’s been a dirty player his entire career and I just don’t want to see players like that on the Mets. Call me old school or naive or whatever, but no thanks. I felt similarly about Correa but started to come around when after he was signed for a few minutes. Cheating is one thing. Doing harm is on another, far worse level. Sportsmanship is rare but should still matter.
    Besides all of that, Chris F. laid out some solid logic as to why he won’t likely be a serious target and I doubt that we’ll see him in a Mets uniform anytime soon. Plus, he’s apparently looking for a 10 year deal while he will be entering his 31 or 32 year old season? Nope.

  • T.J.

    I agree with ChrisF and Bull.

    The Mets are very good right now and have the makings of a nice young core ready to contribute. Why deal any of that for 30 somethings now? Despite the doomsday clock creeping closer to doomsday, it is reasonable to expect baseball beyond 2023. IMHO Uncle Stevie’s excesses should be aimed at importing pitching. The system should be able to provide the necessary bats.

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