ESPN: Cubs should trade Russell for Manny Machado blockbuster
|Saturday, December 16, 2017, 9:14 AM- -|
The Chicago Cubs are currently making some big-time changes on their bullpen before the start of the 2018 baseball season.
However, not much has changed with regards to their young core of positional players. ESPN's Jesse Rogers suggests that the North Siders should trade starting shortstop Addison Russell along with a few prospects for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.
"Four years of Russell in exchange for one year of Machado might not sound like a great deal for Chicago, but in a year when the Cubs have question marks on the mound, they could perhaps bash their way to a title. Russell, plus a minor league arm or two, should get a deal done for the All-Star," Rogers said.
"Part of the thinking revolves around the Cubs’ 23-year-old current starting shortstop. Dealing Russell now might be selling him at his peak value. There’s no questioning Russell’s ability, but he lost much of a season to off-field issues in 2017 and the injuries that are starting to pile up. He’s had previous leg problems going back to before he was acquired from Oakland, and just last year he had a terrible case of plantar fasciitis, as well as a sore shoulder on more than one occasion. It could be the right time to deal him -- especially for a player of Machado’s caliber."
In 2017, Machado batted .259 with 33 homers, 95 RBIs, and .310 on-base percentage. In his five-year pro career, he has a .279 average with 138 home runs with 406 RBIs.
The 25-year old third baseman is in his last year of his contract with the Orioles and they are trying to move him before he walks and they get nothing in return. He has said that he wants to play shortstop when he plays for his next ballclub.
A middle of the lineup with Machado, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo could be deadly in 2018 and possibly beyond.