Chicago Cubs: This swing would have played in 2018
A deal with the our friendly trade partners, the Orioles, could have netted us Manny Machado in 2018 (and possibly even in 2017 as well). Granted, you may not care for the guy or even the way he plays, but I’d venture a guess that you like him a fair bit more than Russell now. Point taken?
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Machado, dealt to the Dodgers at the deadline in 2018, produced 6.2 fWAR for the season, and propelled the Dodgers to the World Series that season. Russell produced 1.4 fWAR for the season and ended up suspended for 40 games (partially in September of 2018 and finished in 2019) under MLB’s domestic violence policy.
What makes all this worse is what we’ve already pointed out- the fact that this trade supposedly was discussed and could have happened at some point, although no one knows how serious either side was in the talks. It was, however, serious enough for The Athletic and Ken Rosenthal to write about a possible trade at that time.
And while Machado may have only been had for a year or partial year, the added production in 2018 coupled with the jettisoning of Russell would have saved every fan some grief and shame. Who knows- the Russell situation also could have been hanging over the players and clubhouse for the last two seasons in some way, shape, or form- draining the passion and energy that the Castellanos trade seemed to bring back last August.