A key snag in the Phillies being able to land Manny Machado will be playing third base, but he may be willing to for the right price.
The Phillies will meet with superstar free agent Manny Machado next week in Philadelphia to make their pitch as to why he should sign with the team. They will surely pull out all the stops to convince Machado to become a Phillie.
A key topic of discussion will be Machado’s willingness to play third base. He manned the position for six seasons and won two Gold Gloves before strongarming the Orioles into playing him at shortstop this season. That will be a problem for Philadelphia as they recently acquired Jean Segura from the Mariners to man the position for the coming years. Or will it?
Bobby Dickerson, an instructor in the Orioles organization, who has known Machado since he was 16, stated that the four-time All-Star may still be willing to move back to third base, for the right price: [quote via Scott Lauber of Philly.com]
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"“I think if the contract is right, he would,” Dickerson said. “It may have to go an extra five million, or more, or whatever to get him out of [shortstop]. But if the contract is right, I think he would go to third.”"
Dickerson is simply stating that if Philadelphia is willing to pay Machado extra couple million dollars, then he will go back to third base. Of course, this has to be interpreted carefully given that Dickerson has not talked with Machado since the end of the regular season. Machado’s mindset could be completely different what Dickerson thinks it is, but Dickerson is still very familiar with Machado as a person.
If we operate under the assumption that Machado will play third base, how much would he have to be paid in order to move back there? Dickerson offered five million dollars more, but he didn’t clarify if he meant total or per year. If he meant the latter, that would add up to over $50 million, a tall order just to get Machado to move back to third that may not be worth it.
On the other hand, if Dickerson just means overall, then that will be a much easier sell. The value Machado adds as a third baseman defensively will certainly outweigh that extra cost. Plus, it would keep Segura at shortstop and prevent any further shuffling the infield.
One way or another, if the Phillies can get Machado back to third base, their infield heading into next year would be a force to be reckoned with.