UPDATE: FanRag Sports' Jon Heyman reported Thursday, May 17, that the Cubs "will take a look at acquiring" Orioles' shortstop Manny Machado. The Orioles, who currently sit last in the AL East with a record of 13-29, could deal Machado this summer before he hits free agency this offseason.
Maybe Manny Machado is what the Cubs need to break out of their lackluster hitting performance this season.
With the team currently sitting in fourth place of the NL Central, the bat-popping (and Albert Almora’s childhood teammate) Machado is looking like the saving pick-me-up the team could need. In 2018, he’s currently batting .346, working with a 1.054 OPS and has 45 hits just in 34 games — racking up a 1.83 WAR.
According to a report from the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cubs' front office is looking to get “aggressive,” especially in their closing window of competition this roster has left in them. How aggressive? As aggressive as president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer want, the report says.
But is aggressively aggressive enough to pay Machado’s bill — something to the tune of an 8-year, $300 million contract?
It makes sense for a Addison Russell to be the likely suitor offered in a potential trade. The 24-year-old infielder carries a reliable, flashy glove — earning regards as a Gold Glove nominee in 2016 — despite still being homerless and striking out 21 times in 31 games. Back in the offseason, manager Joe Maddon said this would be his season “to blossom.”
And it takes some time to immediately blossom on a new team, as Cubs have seen with Yu Darvish’s performance so far. With just recently making a six-year, $126 million commitment with the righty — in which Darvish has returned the favor with a 6.00 ERA and 31 hits in 30 innings pitched — the thought of splurging again on another expensive franchise player before the July 31 trade deadline is no guarantee.