The wait is over and the news is official, the Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired All-Star shortstop, Manny Machado from the Orioles in exchange for Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon, Zach Pop, and Breyvic Valera.
The Machado rumors have run rampant across the league for the last few weeks but a constant throughout the process has been the Dodgers and their unwavering interest in the 26-year old shortstop. Now, the trade is official.
Machado will certainly be a huge boost to the Dodgers who entered the All-Star break with a half-game lead over the Diamondbacks for first place in the division. The team sits ten games above .500, a mark they have not reached this season until this point. With Machado, the sky’s the limit in terms of results especially with the team playing well prior to the break.
On the season, Machado is hitting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs. His power and ability to make easy contact to drive in runs has been unparalleled over the last few seasons. Machado has gone three consecutive seasons with 30+ home runs and his home run total to this point in 2018, sets him up to reach the 40 homer mark for the first time in his career. Machado also owns a .934 OPS and a 157 OPS+.
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The move for Machado will put Chris Taylor out of a starting job but he should get plenty of playing time between second base, shortstop, and the outfield. Kiké Hernandez could also be affected by the trade but his incredible versatility will keep him on the field, predominantly at second base.
As for the return, the Dodgers got away with a steal for a player who is under contract for just the remainder of the season and has the talent that Machado has.
Headlining the list of players going to Baltimore is 21-year old outfield prospect, Yusniel Diaz. Diaz, the fourth overall prospect in the organization and the 84th overall prospect in the majors, became the second player ever to hit two home runs in the Futures Game this past Sunday and is enjoying a great season in which he has maintained a batting average over .300 and a .905 OPS.
Second on the list of three total prospects going to Baltimore is Dean Kremer. Kremer has had a breakout year for Rancho Cucamonga posting a 3.76 ERA in 79 innings where he struck out 114. Kremer was promoted to Double-A where he has made one fantastic start. The 22-year old is a solid pitcher with a lot of promise but he is not a huge loss for the Dodgers.
Third on the list of five prospects going to Baltimore is Rylan Bannon. Bannon, who just 22-years old has been a surprising bright spot for the Dodgers’ farm system in Rancho Cucamonga this year. Bannon plays second and third base. On the season, the young infielder is hitting .296 with 20 home runs and 61 RBIs. Bannon is quietly one of the best prospects in this group and losing him may, in the long run, hurt the most.
Fourth on the list is Zach Pop, a 21-year old reliever currently in Single-A. Pop has enjoyed a nice season where he has 1.04 ERA, a .877 WHIP, and a 9.8 K9 rating. Pop has pitched in two levels this year, High and Low-A and he is a solid pitcher. But, like Kremer, his overall effect on a great pitching organization is small and will not be terribly missed.
Rounding out the return is 26-year old infielder, Breyvic Valera. Valera has seen his fair share of teams in 2018, as he was traded from the Cardinals to the Dodgers and now the Orioles. Valera has been up and down for the Dodgers between Triple-A and the majors this year but he has primarily been a minor leaguer. Valera is a solid bat and a good player off the bench. Baltimore will more than likely use him in the majors as he will require a 40-man roster spot.
Mannywood has come back to LA and Dodger fans are in for a huge treat.