Before I start talking about this, I want to point out that despite any excuses that may be said the Miami Marlins CAN afford a top free agent. The issue isn't not having the money, the issue is whether or not Bruce Sherman will authorize such an expenditure. Keep in mind that a $30 million annual salary can be fit into the annual payroll. Once again just to be clear, The Fish CAN spend like a big market team and being outspent by a small market city is unacceptable. Now let's talk about Manny Machado...
The Miami Marlins should pursue Manny Machado next off-season.
The Miami Marlins fixed the third base situation for 2023 by signing Jean Segura. Segura has never been a third baseman before and there's been some concern that he might be better off at his natural second base position. Current second baseman Luis Arraez may be better off at first base, so there is a way for Segura to end up at second base eventually. Of course nothing should keep The Fish from pursuing Manny Machado besides Bruce Sherman refusing to spend on him.
Manny Machado said that he will opt-out of his contract with the San Diego Padres after the upcoming season. The fact that he's even playing for San Diego is a surprise, considering San Diego is a small market. The fact that a team from Miami (one of the biggest markets in the country) spends less on the team than a team from San Diego (a small market) is pretty ridiculous of course. Machado had to settle for San Diego last time, as the usual suspects were wary of giving him a large contract for whatever reason.
Manny Machado batted .279/.329/.476 with 138 home runs and 406 RBI in 764 games and 3088 AB for the Baltimore Orioles from 2012 to 2017. He split 2018 between Baltimore and the Los Angeles Dodgers and batted .297/.367/.538 with 37 home runs and 107 RBI in 162 games and 632 AB. Machado took his game to another level during his time with San Diego, from 2019 through 2022 (so far), batting .280/.352/.504 with 108 home runs and 340 RBI in 519 games and 1953 AB.
Manny Machado would almost certainly cost over $30 million annually and for likely 7-8 year term (he'll be 31 next of-season), but imagine his bat in the middle of the Miami Marlins batting order?!