The hot stove is finally heating up.
In the last week, the Dodgers signed A.J. Pollock to a five-year, $55m+ deal, the Mets signed RP Justin Wilson to 1 year, $10M deal and the Braves brought back fan-favorite Nick Markakis on a 1 year $6M guaranteed deal. In face, even today, the Athletics signed RHP Marco Estrada. Things are finally happening instead of all the “what if” and “insert-name-here would be a great fit” going around the rumor-verse.
Speaking of rumor-verse, the Braves have recently been linked to one of the biggest free agents out there: superstar shortstop Manny Machado.
Let’s get down to brass tacks: don’t get too excited about this.
First off, “being in contact” can mean many different things, including literally calling, asking “is he still available?” and promptly hanging up. It doesn’t mean they’ve extended an offer of any kind.
Secondly, it has been said on multiple occasions that, while the Braves have the money to get a big star, they are hesitant to shell out a long-term, big money deal. Anthopoulos believes in the young stars in the Braves farm system and wants to bring them along to reach their full potential.
Let’s play devil’s advocate for a second and immediately contradict point two. While AA IS hesitant to shell out the big bucks, sources say the Braves shouldn’t be ruled out from a big sign.
Keep Heyman’s words in mind, but again, don’t put too much stock in having a humongous name on our roster.
Third, we don’t exactly have room.
The Braves signed 3B Josh Donaldson back in November. Johan Camargo is slated to be our super-utility guy. Dansby Swanson is coming back feeling healthier than ever after offseason surgery. Austin Riley is shooting his way up through the farm system. We have more than enough infield support, from top prospects to former MVP’s. A long-term deal for Machado just wouldn’t make any sense, given the depth we have for the infield already.
We’ve got about a month or so until Spring Training is underway. What’s going to happen until then? No idea. No one knows except for Anthopoulos.
AA is famously sneaky and surprises everyone with what he does; let’s not forget how Donaldson took everyone by surprise. AA is a shark. More moves will come and there will be an additional new guy or two on the roster come Spring Training. However, don’t expect to see Machado with the big A on his hat come the end of February.