With baseball’s latest season now underway, there will probably be no shortage of MLB trade rumors regarding star players Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado. Both players are headed for free agency along with a few other notable names. Donaldson will be 33 at the start of the 2019 season, while Machado will offer teams a younger star at the age of 26. However, it appears that these two players may be on the trading block ahead of the summer deadline based on a recent poll from around the league.
On Thursday, just a day before Opening Day arrived, ESPN presented their latest survey which polled 43 general managers, assistant GMs, personnel directors and scouts on a number of topics. One of those topics involved which of the two free-agent infielders would be traded before the July trade deadline hit. Both Machado and Donaldson ended up getting 13 votes each, with the answer “both” getting eight votes, while “neither” had five votes.
That seems to give a strong sense from around the league that both the Orioles and Blue Jays will try to get some value in exchange for their players instead of letting them just walk. How much will they bring back in exchange for Baltimore and Toronto, though?
One respondent in ESPN‘s poll gave an interesting answer that gauges the potential trade value of these two players.
“Both are incredible players that would help any lineup. But barring injury, it is hard to project a big market for a third baseman or a shortstop. As it stands today, every major contender is set at both positions and won’t be motivated to give up good prospects for a rental.”
Donaldson, a former MVP in the American League in 2015, has played for the Oakland Athletics and Blue Jays. The three-time MLB All-Star has hit 174 home runs and 528 RBIs for his career stats with a.277 batting average. Over the 2017 season, he hit.270 with 33 home runs and 78 RBIs over 113 games played. One thing that teams will be evaluating with Donaldson is if he can stay healthy. The third baseman was out for 49 games this past season due to his calf injury. Donaldson assured everyone that it’s no longer an issue during his spring training appearances.
With Manny Machado, a lot will depend on how he does playing at shortstop this latest season. It’s mentioned that he may need to move back to playing third base to help a deal go through for the Baltimore Orioles. However, teams fully realize what they’ll be getting with him in terms of his offense.
Over the past three seasons, he’s hit 108 home runs, with 37 as his career-high coming in the 2016 season. Machado also has a.279 career batting average to go with 40 stolen bases and 406 RBIs. Just like Donaldson, he’s a three-time All-Star. Machado also provides his prospective team a two-time Gold Glove winner, with those coming as a third baseman.
So while both players look intriguing, it’s looking like their current teams might not get quite as much as they want in return. There’s also another aspect that could play into Machado and Donaldson’s value on the trading block.
Another survey respondent suggested that Kansas City Royals’ infield slugger Mike Moustakas could also be on the trade market, giving teams in need another potential player to consider. All of that said, a lot will also depend on whether or not any major stars get sidelined and their teams decide they’re in need of some serious help. That could pressure a team to give up a bit more value than they may have originally planned.