The Baltimore Orioles traded All-Star shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday for a package of five prospects. The Orioles will be receiving outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-hander Dean Kremer, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-handed reliever Zach Pop and third baseman Breyvic Valera in the Blockbuster 5-for-1 swap.
Manny Machado has been incredible this season, hitting .315 while setting career-highs in home runs (23), runs batted in (64), on-base percentage (.384) and OPS (.950). Machado is currently playing in his first year as a full-time shortstop in the Major Leagues after playing his entire career at third base and was recently the starting shortstop for the American League All-Star team.
Manny Machado has been a subject of trade speculation for a great deal of time and with a trade involving Machado being inevitable, it was only a matter of time before he was shipped elsewhere and freed from the trainwreck that is the Baltimore Orioles. Before this deal was finalized, Machado was being pursued by the Philadelphia Phillies, Brewers, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians.
“Manny Machado provided Orioles fans with many great memories over his eight years in Birdland,” Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said in a statement. “We will always appreciate his talent and wish him the best in the National League.
Yusniel Diaz is a 21-year-old Double-A outfielder who hit two home runs in Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, becoming just the second player in the game’s history to homer twice. This season, Diaz is hitting .314 with a .905 OPS and has slugged 6 home runs with 30 RBI, and 36 runs scored. Diaz is the pinnacle of the deal for the Orioles and Dan Duquette has been on the record calling him a “young and gifted hitter.”
Rylan Bannon is a third baseman for the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and is hitting .296/.402/.559 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI in 89 games in 2018. Bannon was selected 250th overall by the Dodgers in the 2017 MLB Draft and while he has a few more years before he can compete for a Major League spot, Bannon has a bright future.
Dean Kremer is a 22-year-old pitcher for Double-A Tulsa. Kremer is 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 86 innings this season. Kremer has a strong arm with an above average curveball and will only improve as he has about a year before contending for a roster spot.
Zach Pop has spent time in Class-A and Double-A this season, compiling a 1.04 ERA over 43.1 innings while striking out 47 and allowing just a .168 opponents’ batting average. Pop was a seventh-round pick for the Dodgers in 2017 and has a very bright future ahead of him.
Breyvic Valera appeared in just 20 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers this season but struggled to make an impression, hitting just .172/.273/.172. The 26-year-old infielder should have a far easier time winning an everyday spot in Baltimore and will have a friendly home park in which to do so. Valera won’t get the opportunity immediately, though, as he’s been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.
“As we begin the task of rebuilding our roster to compete in the AL East, we look forward to the contributions of the five players we added to the organization today.”
“Diaz is a young and gifted hitter, Valera and Bannon are versatile fielders with excellent on-base skills and Kremer and Pip’s excellent seasons are indicative of their bright futures.”
Manny Machado will play for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the rest of the 2018 season and will then become a free agent in the loaded 2018-19 Offseason free agent class. The Dodgers will now have a stud at shortstop after losing Corey Seager to a Tommy John Surgery. Chris Taylor has been filling in at Shortstop as of late for Los Angeles and will now move over to second base for the Dodgers while Machado makes himself at home at shortstop.
This trade was inevitable and overall, it was a solid trade for the Baltimore Orioles who will get 5 solid prospects that have bright futures while losing 2 months of Manny Machado. With Manny Machado being a free agent at the end of the season anyway, and knowing that the Orioles’ front office would not pony up for him and their season is virtually over, it was smart of the Orioles to do what they did and it will likely put them in a much better position in the future than an extra few months of Machado.
As for the Dodgers, they are selling off a little bit of their future for the present and while they are now the favorites to win the National League West (and possibly the Pennant) this deal may hurt the team in the future.