MLB Rumors: Landing spots for Manny Machado

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Manny Macchado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his first inning strike out against the Boston Red Sox in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 28: Manny Macchado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to his first inning strike out against the Boston Red Sox in Game Five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on October 28, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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Manny Machado
LOS ANGELES, CA – AUGUST 20: Jedd Gyoorko #3 of the St. Louis Cardinals rounds second base after hitting a solo homerun during the ninth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Don’t count out…

The Cardinals are set at shortstop with Paul deJong. They owe third baseman Jedd Gyorko $13 million this coming season and another $13 million in 2020, but both those figures carry qualifications. San Diego is picking up $5 million of Gyorko’s salary for 2019, and St. Louis can buy its way out of its 2020 team option for $1 million.

So if Machado is willing to be shifted back to third base, St. Louis could make a play. Signing him would strain their current $135 million in projected payroll obligations, but it would also go a long way toward placating a fan base that has grow restless through three seasons of failing to play a post-season game.

The Minnesota Twins played in the 207 wild card game before collapsing last season. With only about $70 million in projected salary commitments against a payroll likely to be in the $120 million range, the Twins could pursue Machado.

The questions could be twofold: Machado’s willingness to play in Minnesota and the depth of the Twins’ commitment to 25-year-old shortstop Jorge Polanco. That commitment may be solid: Polanco hit .288 last season with a .345 on base average.

Would the Detroit Tigers be interested. The Tigers are supposed to be emerging from their rebuilding program, and signing Machado would be one means of demonstrating that they are serious about 2019.

Detroit certainly has a left-side need, where former shortstop Jose Iglesias is a free agent and third baseman Jeimer Candelario hasn’t established the ability to punch up a lineup.  With less than $100 million in salary commits and a payroll generally ranging about $175 million, the Tigers have the financial flexibility.

That leaves the question of whether Machado believes he can be enough of a difference-maker in Detroit.