Chicago Cubs: Predictions for the top 5 remaining free agents

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Doesn’t anyone want this?

Manny Machado didn’t do himself any favors when he announced that he wasn’t ever going to be “Johnny Hustle” on the cusp of free agency. While there are teams who probably don’t care about the comment (I’m looking at you guys on the South Side), I’d wager a pretty penny that the 26-year-old infielder lost some suitors by opening his mouth.

He’s still going to get paid, no doubt about it. But the number of teams in pursuit, as well as the number of years they’re willing to offer, could be diminished because of that. In short, that translates to lost money if fewer teams drive up the years and price.

So, where would Machado fit best? Who even wants him? Machado played shortstop for the Orioles and Dodgers this season, but he’s a much better third baseman.  In fact, he’s anywhere from good to Gold Glove-worthy while manning the hot corner, but merely adequate at SS. My best guess is that teams would rather him play third, but someone might be willing to let him play shortstop if it means they have a better chance to sign him, or if they already have a good defensive third baseman.

Most of the buzz this offseason surrounding Machado has been from two places: Philadelphia and Chicago.  While the Cubs aren’t interested, the White Sox reportedly offered him a seven-year/$175 million deal.  This seems to be the only legitimate deal that Machado has been offered, although Philadelphia and even the San Diego Padres have purportedly made inquiries and in-roads of late.

Best guess for what ends up happening: when all else fails, and there’s nothing else on the table- pick the team who has already made an offer.  Manny Machado will sign with the White Sox for something very close to that initial seven-year, $175 million deal, probably with a few opt-outs and maybe even some incentives.

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