Manny Machado On The Discount Rack? The Yanks Should Buy Now!
Manny Machado at one third off Is not a bad deal!
I have been vocally anti signing Manny Machado for some time. Mostly because a) the Yankees have better than average cost controlled player at third in Miguel Andujar (for 5 years) and b) I hate long term contracts because they are always disasters at the end. As part of my reasoning , I also do not care that Manny Machado doesn’t run like crazy on routine grounders (and risk pulling a hamstring) or that he seems like a jerk (I felt the same way about A-Rod and Roger Clemens, but the Yankees won titles with them on the team).
But if the reports that the best Machado can do is $25 million a year for 7 years, we need to re-assess the logic of signing him.
Analysis of a Market Contract
My initial thought was that Machado would get $35 million a year for 10 years. Manny has averaged 5.4 wins above replacement over the past four years and assuming that increases even just a bit for two years and then declines after 30, we get the following totals:
$6.8 million per year for each Win Above Replacement (WAR) seems about right. You might end up with a DH at age 33 (go talk to Hanley Ramirez) so this contract is not necessarily one I would do.
But at $25 million a year for 7 years? You get the following:
That’s an annual per year WAR of only $4.4 million – a 35% discount on what is even close to fair. It’s great for 2 reasons. First, the Yankees would be saving about $10 million per year. Secondly, they would have fewer years of decline and much less risk at the back end.
What About Miguel Andujar?
Miguel Andujar is really good. He had a 2.7 win season at the age of 23. He almost certainly has upside as a hitter. If he has additional upside as a fielder (right now he is an awful fielder), one can see him getting close to 4 wins a season, which is very, very close to Machado.
The thing is that the Yankees will eventually be paying Andujar close the $4.4 million a year per win above replacement in arbitration. If $9 million per season is market value, Andujar should get 40% of that ($3.6 million or so) in 2022 and 60% or so ($5.4 million) in 2023. If this is the case, Machado would actually cost the same as Andujar in 2022 and 2023 in terms of wins added to the team.
What Would I Do?
Honestly, at this point I’d sign Machado for $25 million a year for 7 years. I don’t know what he did to get only one offer at such a low value, but at that price, the Yankees have to get him.
If the Yankees acquire Manny Machado. here are the Yankees options:
1) Trade Andujar at close to his value.
2) Move Andujar to first without a substantial loss of value. I think that Andujar is worth a top tier starter in a trade. I wouldn’t trade him for anything less.
3) Trade Didi Gregorius or let him walk. Andujar (at 3b) and Machado (as short) has the potential to be one ugly left hand side of the infield defensively if this happened.
Bottom line, if this is market for Machado, the Yankees should get him. Absolutely. The discount rack Manny Machado is a bargain!