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Shuffle Up: Manny Machado, ahead of schedule

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Baby, you're a big star now (USAT)

Here are your Shuffle Up corners for the month of May. Dig into them, think about them, disagree with them.

Normal rules apply, of course. We're trying to project 5x5 value to come; what's happened to this point is an audition, not a mandate. Players at the same price are considered even. Don't worry about the prices in a vacuum - what matters is how the players relate to one another. Your intelligent and respectful disagreement is always welcome.

Please remember the golden rule of shuffling: a player doesn't gain (or lose) 15-20 percent of value simply because he's on your roster.

Courtesy injury ranks are at the bottom. I won't debate those (I'm generally not as shiny, happy and optimistic about injury comebacks) but everything else is in play. Make the jump, have a look around.

$34 Miguel Cabrera
$31 Prince Fielder
$30 Joey Votto
$29 Evan Longoria
$28 David Wright
$28 Paul Goldschmidt
$27 Adrian Beltre
$27 Edwin Encarnacion
$25 Albert Pujols
$22 Anthony Rizzo
$21 Chris Davis
$21 Allen Craig
$21 Billy Butler
$21 Freddie Freeman

An underrated part of Wright's game: baserunning. He's currently the No. 2 ranked baserunner in 2013 per Fangraphs, only behind Austin Jackson. But you can't help but wonder how long it will take for Wright to regret re-upping with the Mets. You can only bat in front of Ike Davis for so long before you want to hurl yourself in front of the subway. … No one expected Davis to make an MVP run or anything, but the first quarter looks legit with him. Walks are way up, contact has improved, and he's using the entire ballpark (and strong enough to hit a ball out anywhere, pole to pole).

$20 Mark Trumbo
$20 Manny Machado
$19 Pablo Sandoval
$19 Chase Headley
$19 David Ortiz
$18 Aramis Ramirez
$17 Ryan Zimmerman
$17 Adrian Gonzalez
$17 Martin Prado
$16 Mark Reynolds
$14 Kyle Seager
$14 Nick Swisher
$14 Matt Carpenter
$14 Justin Morneau

Machado only has five homers but eventually some of those 17 doubles turn into blasts over the fence. There's so much to like here: his contact rate is a robust 84.1 percent, he's ripping line drives 22 percent of the time, even his defense is terrific. And eventually Machado will learn how to take better advantage of left-handed pitching and his home stadium. The long-running Trout vs. Harper debate might be a three-way discussion by the end of the year. … Sandoval has played 117 and 108 games the last two years. That's an inescapable part of the profile. I'd love to push him into the 20s but I can't do any more wishcasting with his health. … I'm certainly not a doctor, but Zimmerman doesn't look healthy to me. Mind you, we all remember what happened in the middle of 2012: a cortisone shot relaxed his shoulder and he turned into Mike Schmidt for a while.

$13 Lance Berkman
$13 Mitch Moreland
$12 Todd Frazier
$12 Josh Donaldson
$12 Garrett Jones
$11 Ryan Howard
$11 Paul Konerko
$11 Michael Young
$11 Adam LaRoche
$11 Brandon Moss
$11 Nolan Arenado
$11 Kendrys Morales
$10 Eric Hosmer
$9 Brett Lawrie
$9 Marco Scutaro
$9 Pedro Alvarez
$9 James Loney
$9 Jedd Gyorko

Let's recap the Moreland angle, which you should have down by now. Age 27 season, check. Playing full time, check. Hanging in fine against lefties, check. Slotted in a good lineup and in a hitter-friendly park, check. And yes, you have my sign-off to drop a Konerko and add a Moreland. Enjoy. … A lot of blather is generated from lofty batted-ball rates, but it's important to look a little deeper on the outliers. Take Loney: his .398 BABIP isn't going to last all season, but at least he's forcing the issue with that 34.0 line-drive rate (best in the majors). You need to fill the power column elsewhere, but Loney should give you a plus average and respectable run-production numbers. … Hosmer's contact rate has dropped while his power is also falling through the floor. He's hitting the ball on the ground 57 percent of the time. And even the pretty steal trend from last year has disappeared, for now anyway. I was never worried about the Butlers and the Perezes in Kansas City, but I most certainly am concerned about Hosmer.

$8 Adam Dunn
$8 Brandon Belt
$8 Chris Johnson
$8 Daniel Murphy
$8 Yonder Alonso
$7 Will Middlebrooks
$7 Mike Moustakas
$6 Adam Lind
$6 Chris Carter
$5 Ike Davis
$5 Trevor Plouffe
$4 Yuniesky Betancourt
$4 David Freese
$4 Dustin Ackley
$4 Eric Chavez

If I ran the Cardinals, I'd trade for a second baseman (or maybe give Kolten Wong a shot), slide Carpenter back to third, and put Freese on the bench. It's always risky to ask a player to take on a harder defensive position (which is what they're doing with Carpenter). Here's how Bill James would frame it: "Rightward shifts along the defensive spectrum almost never work."

$3 Juan Francisco
$3 Carlos Pena
$3 Gaby Sanchez
$2 Marwin Gonzalez
$2 Matt Adams
$2 Lyle Overbay
$2 Mike Aviles
$2 Luis Valbuena
$2 Ryan Roberts
$2 Conor Gillaspie
$1 Jordan Pacheco
$1 Jeff Keppinger
$1 Nick Punto
$1 Justin Smoak
$1 Alberto Callaspo
$1 Maicer Izturis
$1 Placido Polanco
$1 John Mayberry
$1 Matt Dominguez
$1 Todd Helton
$1 Luke Scott

Courtesy Injury Ranks
$15 Hanley Ramirez
$13 Mark Teixeira
$12 Michael Cuddyer
$12 Corey Hart
$7 Kevin Youkilis
$5 Alex Rodriguez

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