Finally. It took until February the 19th, but Manny Machado has found his new home. Machado is now on his way to San Diego for the next decade. This has to be close to the best case scenario for Boston. The former Dodger was rumored to be between the Yankees, White Sox and Phillies. So with the Red Sox’ rival, a fellow AL competitor and a potential NL World Series representative all missing out on a generational player, the Sox have to be happy with how things culminated. If Machado had chosen a different path in free agency it could’ve really changed things. However, since he is about to be a Padre, let’s analyze how the other scenarios could have affected Boston and its future.
Scenario One: Machado picks the other Sox
Of the three candidates who were tied to Manny all winter, the White Sox posed the smallest threat. Their team isn’t quite ready to contend, with a lot of young pieces on the major league roster still trying to find their place in the league. If the White Sox could’ve have pulled Machado along with Bryce Harper, then they would be much closer to contention. However, even the current White Sox roster + Machado would still be unlikely to win their division. The battle of the Sox will occur seven times this year, which is about the yearly average that the two teams play. Not having to play Machado an extra seven games a year is definitely a small win for the Red Sox.
Scenario Two: Machado heads to the City of Brotherly Love
This scenario scares me as much as any. As is, the Phillies have a roster that is capable of doing damage deep into October. They have big bats, a solid bullpen, and an ace heading their rotation. If you add a star like Manny Machado to the lineup Philly already has, they’re likely the easy favorite to come out of the NL. Now this wouldn’t be the end of the world for Boston. You might remember them beating this Machado guy in the World Series once before. The Phillies really could’ve made a splash by signing Machado and/or Harper, and it would have vaulted them to the top of the NL and near the top of the league. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, ownership wasn’t willing to meet his demands. This doesn’t take the Phillies out of World Series contention by any means, but for a potential World Series matchup with the Phillies, this certainly makes life easier on Boston.
Scenario Three: Machado joins the Evil Empire
Okay, this scenario is the most scary. Yeah, the Sox handled Machado in the division before. Yes, they just beat him in the World Series. And yes, they just eliminated the Yankees in four games. However, this would have been very, very scary. With Manny joining a lineup of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez would be lethal. He would have the opportunity to play shortstop for the New York Yankees, something millions of kids grew up dreaming about. The Yankees were always rumored to be on Manny, and at times it felt like it was inevitable. However, the Yankees lost too much ground in the Machado sweepstakes in the last couple of weeks. The repercussions of Manny coming to New York are obvious. Roughly twenty times a season over the next decade we’d have to face him. Even though the Red Sox starters have pitched him well over his career, that is still a task that Boston is lucky they don’t have to face.