The Orioles had Monday off, a brief reprieve from a disastrous start to the season. The club enters May with an 8-20 record, one game behind the Royals for the worst record in baseball. They sit in last place, 13 games out of first place. Baseball Prospectus gives them a 0.2 percent chance to reach the playoffs.
All of this has happened, of course, despite shortstop Manny Machado‘s best efforts. He’s hitting a league-best .361 with a .448 on-base percentage, .676 slugging percentage, 9 home runs, and 22 RBI in 125 plate appearances. Plus his patented Gold Glove-caliber defense.
Machado is a free agent at season’s end. Considering how horrible the Orioles have been thus far, it’s time for the club to consider trading him. The alternative is to simply have him play out the rest of what is almost certainly a lost season in Baltimore, then watch him skate into free agency. By trading him, the Orioles can at least replenish their minor league system with a handful of prospects. The Dodgers, who recently learned that Corey Seager will miss the rest of the season, could be one potential suitor and they certainly have the pieces to make a deal come together.
The only reason the Orioles should hesitate to trade Machado is if they feel the two sides can come to an agreement on a contract extension, but there have been no reports of any progress on that front. The club was “moving aggressively” to trade him this offseason, but didn’t get any tantalizing offers.
Machado has been the face of the Orioles since breaking out as a 20-year-old in 2013. Unfortunately, this is the nature of the business and the Orioles should probably start looking towards the future.