5 possible landing spots for Manny Machado
Manny Machado could be on the verge of signing the most lucrative contract in baseball history.
The 26-year-old shortstop/third baseman starred for seven seasons in Baltimore before completing 2018 in Los Angeles, where he appeared in his first World Series.
Since his 2012 debut, the four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner positioned himself among baseball's elite with 175 home runs, 211 doubles, and 513 RBIs while posting an .822 OPS.
Despite his antics during the postseason - which included questionable slides, sign stealing, dust-ups with opposing players, and apparent crotch shakes - multiple teams will vie for his services.
Here are five possible landing spots for Machado.
Philadelphia Phillies (Odds +150)
After an encouraging season, the Phillies are in a good position to spend in free agency - they're also expected to be major players for Bryce Harper and Patrick Corbin - and Machado looks like a perfect fit for their team.
This wouldn't be their first time showing interest in the infielder either. Before Machado landed in Los Angeles, Philly was listed as his most likely trade destination, and reportedly offered Baltimore its top pitching prospect.
The Phillies still need a difference-maker on the left side of the infield, and they have a lot of money to work with (their payroll is at $68.9 million before arbitration).
The NL East lacks a clear-cut best team, but acquiring Machado would make the Phillies front-runners.
New York Yankees (Odds +300)
Nearly a year ago, they surprised by acquiring Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, and it's doubtful they'll be quiet this offseason after finishing second in the AL East behind the Boston Red Sox.
While the Yankees have AL Rookie of the Year candidate Miguel Andujar playing third base, New York needs a shortstop for at least part of 2019 and beyond; Didi Gregorius, who's eligible for free agency at the end of next season, underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in October.
Chicago White Sox (Odds N/A)
The South Siders have a group of budding stars that includes Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez, plus a top-ranked farm system. They should also have the financial resources to afford Machado, with just $14.3 million committed to their big-league roster next season (before arbitration).
St. Louis Cardinals (Odds N/A)
Before the Orioles dealt Machado to the Dodgers, the Cardinals were also among his reported suitors, but wound up standing pat. St. Louis went on to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season.
The Cardinals have options at shortstop (Paul DeJong) and third base (Jedd Gyorko or Matt Carpenter, should they choose to play him there regularly), but acquiring a big bat is at the top of their to-do list, and as MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch notes, they have the financial flexibility to add a player like Machado.
Miami Marlins (Odds +800)
It may seem like a long shot, but the rebuilding Marlins could be a match for Machado, who was born in Hialeah, Fla., and would be a perfect fit for a club trying to appeal to its community by signing more Latino players.
The 26-year-old would help lead a youth movement that's starting to come together after Derek Jeter and Co. signed the Mesa brothers of Cuban baseball fame to eventually play alongside rising stars like Lewis Brinson and Brian Anderson.
Convincing Machado to be involved in a rebuild after getting a taste of the World Series might be tough, but maybe he'd be swayed by a lucrative, long-term contract from a team in his home state.