This is the kind of tweet that could totally be smoke and mirrors, but also could be a sign of things to come.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 4, 2018
The wording of this tweet makes it sound like the Braves will be conservative, and will mostly test the waters for relievers. We all know the Braves need another reliever, so we are not going to dive too deep into that rumor here.
Alex Anthopolous is the type of general manager who has gone all chips in at the trade deadline and is the kind of guy who can surprise you at any minute by making a blockbuster move, so this report including Machado cannot be entirely overlooked. This Braves team is young though, and despite them being the best team in the National League, the majority of the team is locked up for an extended period of time.
Sometimes you have to go for it while you can though, and that would be the argument for trading for a Hall of Fame talent like Manny Machado. Of course, the problem is that Machado is a rental. The Braves have been on the wrong end of the stick with these rental trades in the past, and one of the few problems with having such a loaded farm system is that the Orioles may get greedy. With 8 teams reportedly in the mix for Machado, he is not going to come cheap. There is just no other way to go about it, the trade would be painful for Braves fans. However, with a bit of a surplus in the minor leagues with starting pitching, the Braves may try to make a move from their wealth of riches.
Unfortunately, most players are not as loyal to the teams that trade for them like Paul George in the NBA. If the Braves make the move for Machado, they could lose a potential frontline starter for with 5+ seasons of control.
The Braves would also have to make a decision between Dansby Swanson or Johan Camargo, assuming one would not be included in that deal (that could be a real possibility). Camargo has severely outperformed Swanson in recent weeks and has established himself at the hot corner. Between Machado expressing his desire to play shortstop and Camargo’s hot bat, they would have to bite the bullet on Dansby Swanson, a fan favorite who likely deserves a bit more time to figure it out, but could be the odd man out. However, we are talking about a big-time upgrade in the short-term that could evolve the Braves’ offense.
At the end of the day, if things stand as they do currently for the Braves’ left side of the infield this winter, pursuing Machado is a no-brainer. He is a Hall of Fame talent, and the Braves will have the finances cleared up to throw his way. However, if it means losing a top-tier prospect, the answer has to be no. The Braves are built to win in the long-term, with or without Machado. The Braves should not give up any package more than Dansby Swanson and Max Fried and another mid-level prospect for the services of Machado. Otherwise, they can plan on throwing money at him a few months later. Unfortunately for the Braves, the Orioles will likely get better offers.