Manny Machado has been the focus of plenty of controversies during the 2018 playoffs. As a result, I’ve soured on the idea of seeing him with the New York Mets.
New York Mets fans have been venting for a long time their desire for the team to invest more money in a big-time franchise player. With Manny Machado being the big name free agent this winter, his name has been suggested as a possible target.
Machado has put up some great numbers in his career and has been very durable, he played 162 games this season. He hits over 30 homers each year, his OBP is always off the charts, and he’s always a shoe-in to make the All-Star team.
It will be interesting to see what kind of money Machado demands. Bryce Harper has been known to want at least $400 million, and some people think that Machado deserves more than Harper.
In a poll on Twitter, I asked Mets fans if they wanted the Mets to sign Machado specifically, or if they just wanted the Mets to spend big money in general. Two-thirds of Mets fans want them to spend more money, but don’t mind if it’s not on Machado.
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So should the Mets commit over $30 million a year over at least 10 years? Absolutely not. Let me tell you why.
I know, the Mets need to spend more money. More specifically, the Wilpons need to commit to a higher payroll. But this doesn’t mean that going after the player demanding the most money is the answer.
One reason is that the Mets have bigger needs than infield help. Amed Rosario and Jeff McNeil showed promise up the middle, and Andres Gimenez is on his way. Maybe they could use a third baseman for the future, but Machado has expressed that he strongly prefers shortstop, even though he looked a lot better at third base and third basemen in this market are much more valuable.
It’d be great to see the Mets add $40 million to their payroll next year, but that could go towards getting two or three lockdown arms in the bullpen and a solid catcher. I’d rather see the front office and new GM work on creating a more complete roster.
Another big reason to stay away from Manny Machado is his attitude and reputation. He has always been known as a hot head and a player who lacks hustle.
In an interview with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Machado pretty much came out and said that hustling will never be a part of his game:
“Obviously I’m not going to change, I’m not the type of player that’s going to be ‘Johnny Hustle,’ and run down the line and slide to first base and … you know, whatever can happen,” Machado said. “That’s just not my personality, that’s not my cup of tea, that’s not who I am.”
Machado’s quote did go on to take responsibility and acknowledge that it was wrong. However, the choice of words sting and suggest he’s unwilling to give maximum effort. At some point, this will cost him.
Call me an old-fashioned baseball fan, but I highly appreciate players that give everything they have into every single play. These players should appreciate the level they are playing at and never take it for granted. Especially if you’re asking for the money that Machado will be asking for this winter.
Late in Game Four of the National League Championship Series, Machado appeared to purposely kickthe leg of Brewer’s first baseman Jesus Aguilar on a routine groundout. This came after already have two questionable slides to break up double plays where he reached his arms out to take out the fielder. Machado was fined for the play with Aguilar.
This is nothing new for Machado. In 2014 in a game against the Oakland A’s, he believed he was being thrown at. On the next pitch in the dirt, he took a fake swing and let go of the bat to have it fly down the third base line almost hitting the third baseman. This came a day or two after an altercation with Josh Donaldson after Donaldson tagged Machado out on the base paths.
Machado is just not the kind of player I want to have to root for over the next 10 plus years. He’s going to get in fights over silly things, he’s going to get ejected in important games, and he’s already told us he’s not going to hustle.
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Hopefully, it will be an issue another team will have to deal with.