Chicago Cubs: Signing Bryce Harper, Manny Machado could handicap team

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Another rumor that just won’t go away

Ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline, the Chicago Cubs and Manny Machado seemed to be rumored on a daily basis. The Baltimore Orioles were in free-fall and had to finally part ways with their franchise cornerstone to recover at least some value in losing him.

But, instead of forming a super-infield with Javier Baez, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo, Machado wound up with the Cubs’ NLCS foe from each of the previous two seasons in the Dodgers. Although his numbers took a bit of a hit after going from Baltimore to Los Angeles, the infielder still gave the Dodgers a boost as they won a fifth-straight NL West title.

On the year, Machado ranked ninth in baseball with 37 home runs, driving in 107 runs to go along with a .905 OPS. He struggled in the NLDS, hitting just .176 with a pair of home runs against Atlanta.

A big chunk of change undoubtedly rests on what he’s able to do in the NLCS against Milwaukee and, if the Dodgers advance to the Fall Classic for a second-straight year, all eyes will be on Machado.