The Major League Network announced on the 20th (Korean time) the ‘Top 10 Best Third Basemen in 2023’ selected by its own projection Shredder. Among the best third basemen of the time, Manny Machado (31, San Diego) stood at the top.
MLB.com said, ‘Manny Machado narrowly beat Jose Ramirez (Cleveland), who was number one last year. “It was one of those close games,” said Ramírez, who averaged 32 home runs, 114 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and 38 doubles over the two seasons. However, Machado finished second in the National League MVP. The six-time All-Star had 32 homers, 102 RBIs and an OPS+ of 159 last season,’ he explained of the selection process.
Machado was ranked 7th in last year’s rankings, somewhat far from the lead. But he was different this year. He finished second in the National League MVP voting after Paul Goldschmidt (St. Louis), and showed the best performance after moving to San Diego based on the 162 game system. His batting average of 0.288, 60 home runs, 208 runs batted in, and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.867 in 303 games over the past two years were just right for the Shredder Projection, who evaluates his performance over the past two years as important.
Machado’s future is one of the issues that will be heating up in San Diego throughout this season. Ahead of the 2019 season, Machado entered California splendidly by signing a 10-year, $300 million (approximately 371.4 billion won) contract with San Diego. After completing the five-year term at the time of the contract, that is, after the 2023 season, he will have the option of whether the player will fulfill the remaining contract. Machado is expected to declare an opt-out (abandon remaining contracts and obtain free agent status) if he can bounce an abacus at the end of this season and go to the market to receive more money. 메이저놀이터
His 10-year, $300 million contract is great, but the market price has jumped more now than it did back then. A few players with a combined total of over $300 million have popped up in the last two years alone. It seems that Machado is also keeping a close eye on the situation in the market.
John Heyman, columnist for the ‘New York Post’ and major league source, predicted in a recent column that the New York Mets would target Machado. It also garnered extraordinary attention as it was the ‘No. 1 candidate’. Following the acquisition of top shortstop Francisco Lindor ahead of the 2022 season, the Mets are on the brink of signing another top shortstop this offseason, Carlos Correa.
Although the recruitment of Correa was not successful due to physical examination issues, the strategy to fill the positions of shortstop and third baseman with a lot of money was fully revealed. The prospect that the Mets, who have enough money, will approach Machado, who will become the biggest third baseman after 2023, is realistic enough. Plus, Machado had a good career relationship with Mets manager Buck Showalter during his time in Baltimore.
For San Diego, defending Machado is likely to be the biggest challenge. Local media interpret that the fact that Machado accompanied them to the clubhouse tour of Coors Field, Colorado’s home stadium in the offseason, shows San Diego’s determination. However, as San Diego is already spending a lot of money, it is difficult to guarantee the future.
When Machado leaves, Ha-seong Kim (28) is next. Ha-seong Kim signed a four-year contract with San Diego ahead of the 2021 season. 2024 is the last year. Although there is a mutual option for 2025, it is worth 9 million dollars (approximately 11.1 billion won), including 1 million dollars in incentives. If Kim Ha-seong is active now, it is much more profitable to go to the market. It is also a golden opportunity for him to sign the last big contract in the major leagues. It is expected that it will not be just looking at it.
An alternative is being prepared in the long term, but if Machado and Kim Ha-seong leave in turn, a major reorganization of San Diego’s infield is inevitable. The contracts of Darvish Yu, Blake Snell, Juan Soto and Josh Hader should also be considered, and the large contracts of Fernando Tatis Jr. and Xander Bogatz have more than 10 years left. This means that payroll liquidity is somewhat lacking. It is expected that a lot of attention will be drawn to what kind of picture San Diego will look at the free agent market in the future.