It’s been a very depressing summer season for baseball in Baltimore. Not solely do the Orioles presently have MLB’s worst record, however according to the FiveThirtyEight projections, they’re additionally on tempo to lose a staggering 111 video games this season. That’s so unhealthy, it could put them in the identical firm as such notably putrid golf equipment because the 2003 Tigers (119 losses), 2013 Astros and 2004 Diamondbacks (111 losses apiece). Not even Buck Showalter’s magical managerial touch may save the Orioles from their wretched destiny. (Not that they necessarily want to be saved.)
Amid such horrors, there was one vibrant spot within the type of shortstop Manny Machado. Via Wednesday’s video games, Machado has 23 dwelling runs (sixth most within the American League) with a .314/.383/.573 slash line. That helps make him the AL’s seventh-best hitter up to now this season in accordance with weighted runs created plus (wRC+), which measures run manufacturing relative to the league on a per-plate look foundation. Not solely is it a large enchancment over the disappointing stats Machado put up a 12 months in the past, but it surely represents the best hitting season of his whole profession thus far.
Machado picked a good time to place up profession numbers, since he’s set to be a free agent after the season. And it’s good for the Orioles, too, although they’ll miss their star participant. When Machado is inevitably traded earlier than the July 31 deadline, he’ll command plenty in return, even when he’s only a three-month rental for a World Collection contender.
Nevertheless it’s powerful to say Machado isn’t well worth the ransom — he’s having among the finest seasons by a trade-deadline goal in fashionable historical past. Going again to the dawn of the free-agent era in 1975, right here is how Machado compares to the highest performances by batters who have been traded on the deadline,1 by way of their wRC+ for the crew doing the buying and selling:
|Participant||12 months||Traded from||To||Pre-Commerce wRC+||Stayed w/ Buying Crew?|
|R. Henderson||1993||Athletics||Blue Jays||182|
|H. Baines||1989||White Sox||Rangers||157||✓|
|M. Ramirez||2008||Purple Sox||Dodgers||141||✓|
|F. McGriff||2001||Satan Rays||Cubs||139||✓|
In essence, Machado switching groups is as a giant a deal because the A’s buying and selling Mark McGwire at the 1997 deadline. (That one worked out pretty well for the Cardinals, too, with one major caveat.) Machado won’t be the most effective match for each contender, with questions about his defense at quick and his reported unwillingness to switch positions with the intention to match higher with a possible commerce suitor.2 However by way of uncooked hitting, Machado is taking advantage of his stroll 12 months, and his bat could make a real difference for a top-shelf crew in search of that further edge in October — no matter whether or not that crew is keen to re-sign him for an more and more exorbitant worth this winter.
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