While the Manny Machado saga may be over for now -- it will resume in the offseason, when Machado is set to become a free agent -- the search for a difference-making player on the left side of the infield is ongoing for a number of clubs, including the Phillies
While the Manny Machado saga may be over for now -- it will resume in the offseason, when Machado is set to become a free agent -- the search for a difference-making player on the left side of the infield is ongoing for a number of clubs, including the Phillies and Brewers.
Though there aren't any Machado-level bats left on the trade market, contenders still have several viable options who can handle the hot corner. But for teams specifically seeking a shortstop, the choices are less inspiring.
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Here's how the third base/shortstop market breaks down after the Dodgers' blockbuster trade for Machado on Wednesday.
Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals
Adrian Beltre, 3B, Rangers
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
This group would have been far more alluring prior to this season, but Beltre has battled injuries and displayed diminished power this year and Donaldson hasn't played since late May due to a left calf ailment. With Beltre owning veto power over any trade due to his 10-and-5 rights and Donaldson potentially having just a handful of games to show he's healthy before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Moustakas may be the only one of these impending free agents who is actually dealt. The Phillies reportedly are honing in on the Royals third baseman after missing out on Machado, and the Cardinals, Braves, Red Sox and Yankees have also been linked to him. Meanwhile, Rangers president of baseball operations and general manager Jon Daniels told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the club won't consider a Beltre deal unless it is "beneficial for all parties involved."
Eduardo Escobar, 3B/SS, Twins
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B/3B, Mets
Derek Dietrich, 3B/OF, Marlins
Yangervis Solarte, 3B/2B, Blue Jays
Josh Harrison, 2B/3B, Pirates
There could be some good value here, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Escobar, Cabrera and Dietrich have each posted a wRC+ of at least 120 this season, and Solarte has solid contact skills (14.4 percent strikeout rate in 2018) and power (16 homers). Harrison has struggled (71 wRC+ in '18), but he was an All-Star as recently as last year.
All five of these players can handle multiple positions, so they could be targets for teams in need of a second baseman, third baseman or even an outfielder (in the case of Dietrich). However, Escobar is the only one who is likely to draw any interest as a shortstop, and even he isn't a great option there due to his defensive limitations. The Phillies, Brewers and Indians are the teams that are most likely to pursue one of the players in this group, and the Red Sox could also jump into the mix with second baseman Dustin Pedroia (left knee) possibly out for the year. That said, teams looking for a second baseman may prefer to trade for someone such as James Dozier, DJ LeMahieu or Whit Merrifield instead.
Freddy Galvis, SS, Padres
Jose Iglesias, SS, Tigers
Jordy Mercer, SS, Pirates
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Rays
Alcides Escobar, SS, Royals
Among the teams that were reportedly involved in Machado trade discussions, the Phillies, Brewers and D-backs each still has a glaring hole to address at shortstop. The problem is, the remaining crop at the position is filled with light-hitting players, and none represents a significant upgrade over what those three clubs have there now. Among the five, Mercer has the best wRC+ with 86. As a result, the trade interest in these players may be minimal.
Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.