Chicago Cubs Rumors: Manny Machado, high-end relievers tied to team

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Chicago Cubs-Baltimore Orioles seem an unlikely match

We’re not going to get into the logistics here. Really, it comes down to comparing two players: Addison Russell and Manny Machado.

The latter may very well be the most valuable middle infielder in the league. He’s mashing the ball this year to the tune of a .307/.378/.579 line with 50 runs batted in to go with 18 homers. Not to mention, he’s capable of playing both shortstop and third base – only lending further value.

Related Story: Get over the Machado-Harper love affair, guys.

After two-straight shutouts at the hands of the rival Milwaukee Brewers, Cubs fans undoubtedly want Machado’s bat in the lineup on a nightly basis. It no doubt provides further depth and probably makes Chicago the best team, at least on paper, in the NL. But on the other side of the coin, you’ve got Addison Russell.

Now, comparing the two offensively is a joke. We’re all thrilled with Russell batting north of .270 – let alone putting up numbers comparable to the O’s shortstop. But where he does hold a significant edge over Machado is with the leather.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

"For what it’s worth — and 2 1/2 months of any defensive metric probably is not worth much — Machado ranks last at shortstop in defensive runs saved, minimum 250 innings (the Cubs’ Addison Russell ranks first)"

Now, as Rosenthal points out (and wholeheartedly agree) – this may be Machado readjusting to shortstop after years at third. But the point still stands. Russell brings a great deal of value with his defense. And with a rotation that lacks swing-and-miss arms, are you ready to jettison that glove for more offense?

Probably not.