Manny Machado is the talk of MLB and continues to headline the offseason. Where will he end up and what does this mean for free agents in MLB?
The Phillies, the White Sox, the Yankees, or somewhere else all together. Where will Manny go?
That’s the question on every General Manager’s (GM) mind this offseason. Yes, Bryce Harper is available too, but Manny Machado is a team changer.
A four time All-Star, two time Golden Glove winner, and a single Platinum Glove to his name Machado already has a star studded profile attached to his name. He currently plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers and had previously played for the Baltimore Orioles before being traded last season.
With his contract running out at the end of last year he became a free agent and completely destroyed the market for this offseason.
Every team would love a piece of Machado but the real question is, who is willing to pay for him?
A player of his unquestionable talent at the age of 26 will definitely demand a large sum of money in his contract as well as many years of guaranteed coverage.
This means a team that really wants his service will be likely to have to pay upwards of $200 million over 10 years.
This will price many teams out of contention for his signature.
The really interesting part of his contract saga is what categorizes a “contender” for Machado’s signature.
A easy way to figure out who could possibly be contenders is to use a formula I have created and tentatively called the “desperate millionaires formula” after looking at all of the teams prospects.
The formula looks like this: want for a star player times need for Third Baseman or Shortstop plus ability of team to be a contender minus payroll limitations equals signing Machado.
Using this formula we can find that really only a few teams are candidates.
This realistically leaves the teams I’ve listed above as contenders as well as a few others.
Unsurprisingly Machado is keeping his cards close to his chest.
He was at Yankee Stadium earlier during the offseason and he was, as recently as this past Saturday, pictured in a White Sox hat.
More developments are being made every day on his contract negotiations.
At the time of writing this article it is still unknown where Machado will end up. In fact two more unnamed teams are being thrown into the mix of potential suitors for the young star.
What does this mean for the other free agents of Major League Baseball(MLB)?
It means that they aren’t getting nearly as much exposure as they would in other years.
Players like Mike Moustakas and Adam Jones would be huge buys in any year not dominated by Machado and Harper, and yet we aren’t even talking about Harper here so he is stunted slightly as well.
Free agents this year are having to wait longer than normal to get signed by a team.
Spring training will be kicking up soon and many players still won’t have a place to go as all of MLB seems to wait for Machado to decide where he is going.
Millions and millions of dollars are on the table still and no one knows where anyone is going.
Machado holds all the power here, he will continue to dominate headlines until he decides where he wants to play.
The fact that this one player demands so much of the market is something that has come up before in MLB.
According to Forbes another young star named Mike Trout earns a salary of $32.3 million a year.
It is reasonable to think that Machado could be in that ballpark or even above that salary a year after he signs a deal.
He could easily become the highest paid baseball player in the next few days.
There is one dangerous thing that Machado should have to worry about: teams not playing ball.
If he waits to long to make his decision teams might start pulling out of the race to sign him.
If all the teams pull out of the race to sign him because his demands are too high, he waits too long or any other reasons he might not get the contract he is looking for.
This sets the rest of the offseason up as a big chess game between Machado’s team and the GMs of each team interested in his signature.
Teams will have the opportunity to lower their offer if there is less interest in signing Machado, but Machado is less likely to sign for a lower offer.
The bargaining power of each team that meets the “desperate millionaires formula” should be increasing every day.
As Machado takes longer to decide where he is going to sign and that could prove deadly for his hopes of getting the best deal.
If Machado takes the best offer possible he could become the highest paid MLB player, but money isn’t everything.
He will want a team that can win and he will want to be a part of that team for years to come.
All of MLB will be waiting to see what kind of offers he turns down and which one he accepts.
It’s unknown exactly which teams have given an official offer to Machado’s team, but I’m sure in the coming days we will be hearing more and more about his contract saga.
Free agency is a big deal this year in MLB and we are seeing one of the best players in the game play the system, everyone is waiting to here what Machado does.
~Michael Innacelli, CNUTV Managing Editor & Sports Editor~