ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

CBS: Trade for Manny Machado makes sense for Diamondbacks

Jul 5, 2018, 6:00 AM | Updated: 10:32 pm
Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado takes off his batting gloves after he flied out during the third i...
Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado takes off his batting gloves after he flied out during the third inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Friday, June 1, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Arizona Diamondbacks may still be atop the NL West standings, but it’s no secret that the team has endured their fair share of struggles this season.

The D-backs currently rank 29th in the MLB in terms of offensive production, ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles.

Arizona is in need of a boost at the plate, but they may not feel pressured at the moment to acquire a slugger. However, it remains an option nonetheless.

Orioles infielder Manny Machado has been linked to Arizona — among other teams —  for a majority of the season. An impending free agent, CBS Sports’ Mike Axisa believes Arizona acquiring Machado via trade makes sense for the club in terms of upgrade purposes.

Shortstop is an obvious spot for an upgrade as well. I would be unrealistic to expect even someone as good as Machado to do what J.D. Martinez did for Arizona last year, but Machado is one of the few players in the game who can have a similar impact. He’s a bona fide middle of the order force and someone who can change the balance of power in a division no one seems to want to win.

Machado has produced at the plate this season for Baltimore, averaging .311/.378/.565 in 83 games. His 21 homers and 59 RBI would lead the Arizona roster if he were to be acquired.

But what would it take to land the three-time All-Star? Axisa pieced together a package.

Proposed trade package: Jon Duplantier, Ketel Marte, and Taylor Widener. The D-Backs do not have a great farm system at the moment, though they can cobble together enough young assets to entice the O’s. Duplantier (Baseball America‘s No. 52 prospect) and Widener are two very good Double-A right-handers who will be big-league options within a year.

Marte is still only 24 and he’s shown promise on both sides of the ball, plus he’s signed affordably through 2024. He gives the O’s a young middle infield building block for the post-Machado era.

Arizona’s farm system has been ranked among the bottom-half of those in the MLB. But for a team that is in a “win-now” scenario given the age of their roster, giving up two future prospects for Machado may be worth it.

The D-backs will unlikely be able to re-sign Machado following the 2018 season, as he will likely request a maximum deal.

But for a team with the second-oldest lineup in the NL and multiple contributors on the verge of free agency themselves, acquiring Machado to push for the pennant is an option worth considering.

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