Manny Machado Traded to Dodgers from Orioles for 5 Prospects

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado takes a lead from first base during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners in Baltimore, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

The Baltimore Orioles are moving on from Manny Machado after trading the All-Star shortstop to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

The Dodgers made the deal official.

The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal first reported the prospects involved. Rosenthal also confirmed the Orioles will not be sending cash considerations to L.A.

Diaz is the fourth-ranked prospect in L.A.'s farm system and the 84th-ranked prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com.

Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said Machado would play shortstop primarily but also play some third base when necessary, per Dodgers Insider.

It wasn't clear when, or if, the Orioles would decide to trade Machado before he is eligible for free agency after this season.

Jon Heyman reported last September the Orioles had "no intention" of shopping Machado during the offseason, though he noted executives from rival organizations felt the team had virtually no chance to re-sign him.

Once the winter meetings began in December, the tenor changed, with Rosenthal reporting the Orioles asked interested teams to make offers for Machado.

With the Orioles sitting in the American League East cellar at 28-69, the decision to move Machado was essentially made for them. That hasn't stopped him putting up an outstanding .315/.387/.575 slash line with 24 homers, though.

Given how valuable Machado has been since his MLB debut in 2012, it's not hard to see why the Orioles would want to do everything in their power to keep him. He ranks seventh among all American League players with 27.7 FanGraphs wins above replacement since 2012.

After finishing 75-87 last season, the Orioles were in a dire situation playing in the same division with the powerhouse New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Their problems have gotten exponentially worse in the first half of 2018.

Since the Orioles can't compete with the Yankees or Red Sox in terms of payroll, they have to build through their farm system. That's been a weakness for the organization, with few exceptions like Machado. ESPN's Keith Law ranked Baltimore's system No. 23 in MLB at the start of 2018.

Even though the Orioles will be worse without Machado on their team for the rest of this season, moving him now allowed them an opportunity to maximize his value and get the best possible return in a trade to ensure they can return to contention sooner than they would have if he just walked for nothing as a free agent.

Los Angeles became the logical landing spot for Machado in May when it was announced that Corey Seager would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Injuries have been an ongoing problem for the Dodgers this season, with Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Rich Hill, Logan Forsythe, Pedro Baez, Tony Cingrani and Justin Turner among those who have spent time on the DL.

Chris Taylor has done an admirable job in Seager's place with a .253/.332/.454 slash line and 11 homers.

Just based on offensive production, Machado represents a significant upgrade for the Dodgers. His defense since moving to shortstop at the start of 2018 has left a lot to be desired, ranking last among all qualified players with minus-19 defensive runs saved, per FanGraphs.

The Dodgers are in a tense battle with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and San Francisco Giants in the National League West, so landing an All-Star talent such as Machado has the potential to put them over the top.