Chicago Cubs: What did the Dodgers get down the stretch?
To objectively discuss what impact Manny Machado may have had with the Cubs, let’s look at what he did with the Dodgers. In 66 games and 296 plate appearances, Machado slashed .273/.338/.487 with 13 home runs and 42 RBI.
While that’s a pretty good line, it’s not nearly as good as the .315/.387/.575 onslaught he put up in the first half of the season with the Orioles. He also played a reasonably well-received and metrics-backed shortstop for the season. Would this have helped the Cubs’ offense down the stretch? Yes. Probably. But maybe not as much as you may think.
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If we assume the Cubs would not have gone after Daniel Murphy had they picked up Machado at the deadline, we can look at their stats and do a rough comparison, though Machado was with the Dodgers about twice as long as Murphy was with the Cubs. In 35 games and 146 plate appearances with the Cubs, Murphy slashed .297/.329/.471; pretty similar to what Machado did with the Dodgers.
You could also make the case that the discrepancy in RBI (Murphy only had 13 runs batted in) had to do with his being asked to lead off. That, coupled with the fact the Cubs offense, as a whole, wasn’t all that great when Murphy came over explains a lot.
So, would adding Machado have helped any more than adding Murphy helped? Probably not.
The only difference being the Dodgers acquired Machado on July 18 and Chicago acquired Murphy on Aug. 21. We could make the case that adding Murphy a month earlier may have also done the same thing. (Although he was injured, so I guess that’s irrelevant).