July 19, 2018
The Philadelphia Phillies may have finished runner-up to the Los Angeles Dodgers in their efforts to acquire shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles, but that doesn't mean there isn't hope for the future.
Machado, 26, will be a free agent following the 2018 season, and while many believe trading for him now would give the Dodgers the best chance at re-signing him this offseason, that assumes that L.A. is actually interested in brining him back. However, based on comments made by Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi following the official announcement of the trade on Wednesday night, it doesn't seem like that's the case.
Zaidi on Machado's pending free agency: "This is about 2018 for us. We hope he plays well and creates a good market for himself."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 19, 2018
After spending the better part of the morning parsing those words, it's nearly impossible to find a scenario in which a GM would say something like that if he has any intentions of trying to re-sign the player.
Would the Dodgers really have given up such a haul of prospects — five of them — for a two-month rental? It appears so, as they believe Machado puts them over the top as the best team in the National League. There's no other explanation for saying something like that, especially on the day the trade is consummated. Either way, that's great news for a Phillies front office that was reportedly "aggressive" in its pursuit of Machado.
And Phillies fans won't have to wait until the winter to begin making their free-agent pitch to Machado. The Dodgers come to town next week, and fans who plan on heading down to see Chase Utley's final series at Citizens Bank Park would be wise to remember that it wasn't Machado who picked L.A. over Philly — that was the Orioles.
In other words, there's no need to boo him. If anything, he should get the second biggest cheer of any Dodgers player, behind Utley, of course.
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