The Dodgers have reportedly acquired All-Star infielder and pending free agent Manny Machado from the Orioles in exchange for a package of five prospects. Multiple outlets are reporting the deal as done. Machado had been one of the most coveted names leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline. In addition to the Dodgers, the Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Brewers had been heavily linked to Machado in recent days.
In Los Angeles, Machado figures to be the primary shortstop — the position left vacant by Corey Seager’s season-ending Tommy John surgery. That means Chris Taylor would slide over the second base, thus filling what’s been a trouble spot for the Dodgers all season. In the end, the Dodgers in Machado are adding one of the best power hitters in baseball to an offense that already leads the National League in home runs.
Machado, who just recently turned 26, is batting .315/.387/.575 (164 OPS+) for the season with 24 home runs in 94 games played. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 121 across parts of seven major-league seasons. While he’s been a primary third baseman for most of his career, this year he switched back to his original position of shortstop.
Machado is owed $6.3 million for the remainder of the season, and as mentioned he’s eligible for free agency this coming offseason. Considering the Dodgers have Seager and Justin Turner installed at shortstop and third base, respectively, through at least the 2020 season (when Turner’s contract expires), they’re likely viewing Machado as a temporary fix. Given that Machado seems bent on testing the market, it’s possible he wouldn’t be open to signing an extension even if the Dodgers had such interest.
According to multiple reports, the Dodgers will not be receiving any cash in the deal. However, they do remain just under the luxury-tax threshold, which is in keeping with their recent organizational goals.
The SportsLine Projection Model was already high on the Dodgers for the rest of the season and has them as the leader in World Series probability in the National League. The forecast gives the Dodgers a bit of a boost, going from 94.1 wins without Machado to 94.6 with the addition of the infielder. Postseason odds go from 94.7 to 96.5 percent with Machado. As far as winning the World Series? The Machado trade raises the Dodgers’ chances from 23.7 to 24 percent.
On the Orioles’ side of things, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic names the five prospects they’ll receive: outfielder Yusniel Diaz (Dodgers No. 4 prospect coming into this season), third baseman Rylan Bannon (Dodgers No. 27 prospect), right-hander Dean Kremer (Dodgers No. 28 prospect), right-hander Zach Pop, and infielder Breyvic Valera.
The headliner for Baltimore is Diaz, a 21-year-old product of Cuba who was a consensus top-100 prospect coming into the season. In 2018, he’s put up strong numbers in his first taste of Double-A. He profiles as a strong on-base threat at the highest level. Left to question is whether he’ll hit for power and whether he’ll be able to stick in center field.
Bannon, 22 and a former eighth-rounder, has a strong .961 OPS on the season, albeit at hitter-friendly Rancho Cucamonga of the Cal League. He projects as a solid hitter with enough glove to stick at third.
Kremer, 22, has solid velocity and life on his fastball, and he also has command of a slider and curve. His changeup could develop into a usable pitch at the highest level. This season, he’s put up strong numbers at Rancho.
Pop, a 21-year-old relief prospect, has an ERA of 0.33 and more than a strikeout per inning across two seasons in the low minors.
Valera, who’s spent time with the big-league club in 2018, is a 26-year-old switch-hitter who can play second, third, and the outfield corners. He hasn’t produced in limited action at the major-league level, but in the minors he showed good bat-to-ball skills and speed on the bases.