When Manny Machado’s name comes up in potential Cardinals trade talk or rumors, negative STL fan response is common and it’s not because they wouldn’t love to see him sporting Cardinal red.
The negative reactions come because not many in Cardinal Nation believe Manny would sign with the club this offseason, electing to get his money in free agency instead. And these fans would be correct according to Orioles analyst Dan Connolly.
Connolly didn’t completely discount the Cardinals in the Machado sweepstakes, but expressed doubt this summer’s top potential trade prize would stick around should the Cards make a trade happen.
“My sense is he is looking for free agency,” Connolly recently told ‘The Fast Lane.’ “My sense is he is looking to pick his team and it be, if not the highest dollar he can get, certainly up there.
Connolly also said, as is the case in most top MLB players in their walk years, Machado’s situation is mostly about the Benjamins..
“If St. Louis is really interested, and they are obviously a great baseball town and if you come there and stay there, fantastic,” Connolly said. “But if the top money isn’t there, and I don’t think he’ll sign there either…I think he’ll explore the market.”
“I believe it’s going to be more about the $200-300 million range or whatever, than anything else,” he added.
On top of “$200-300 million” being an awful lot of cheddar, Connolly said the O’s are going to command quite a bit for what’s likely a Machado rental.
“My belief is they are going to want two pitchers. They’re going to want a pitcher who is right at the cusp of the Major League level or maybe in the Major Leagues right now, and also a guy who you’d consider a top prospect who is right about there. Maybe Double-A, Triple-A, or even high-A if they think he really has a huge ceiling,” Connolly said.
The scribe added Baltimore would probably also want someone to plug in on the infield’s left side to somewhat fill the void Machado would leave. So in summation, the Orioles would likely want two top pitching prospects and a corner infielder for a player who will likely test the free agent waters no matter what.
You can hear Connolly’s entire chat below. Stay tuned to 101 ESPN and 101Sports.com for plenty of Cardinals coverage and analysis as the season rolls on.