July 18, 2018 / 10:28 AM / 4 months ago

Orioles trade shortstop Machado to Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday in exchange for five prospects.

Jul 17, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; American League infielder Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles (13) talks on a cell before the 2018 MLB All Star Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In the deal, the Orioles receive top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, as well as minor league right-handers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop and infielders Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.

The agreement between the two sides, reported as essentially finalized Tuesday night, reportedly hit a snag Wednesday afternoon over the medicals of one of the Dodgers prospects involved. The player at question was not Diaz, the centerpiece of the deal, according to a report from Fancred.

Machado is expected to be introduced by the Dodgers on Friday ahead of their road game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Machado, 26, is batting .315 with 24 homers, 65 RBIs and a .963 OPS in the final year of his contract before becoming a free agent. A four-time All-Star, he’s projected to fetch a long-term deal approaching $300 million on the open market this winter.

“Obviously, it’s a bittersweet day for our organization,’’ Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said on a conference call Wednesday night. “We watched Manny grow up in our franchise the past eight years. We all know what an exceptional talent he is, from the great plays that he made to his elite hitting. He’s always going to be a part of our important part of our club’s history.’’

The Dodgers were aggressive in their pursuit of Machado with their own All-Star shortstop, Corey Seager, out for the season recovering from Tommy John surgery. They outbid the Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cleveland Indians, among others, according to reports.

The Dodgers (53-43) are a half-game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West. Los Angeles fell one win short of a World Series title last year, losing in Game 7 to the Houston Astros.

“We’re in first place by the slimmest of margins, and four teams are within a few games,” Los Angeles general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Dodgers station AM 570. “We felt improving the team in this period was imperative and we think Manny Machado is the best target out there.”

The Dodgers also made a splash ahead of last year’s trade deadline, acquiring right-hander Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers.

Machado, who still played for the Orioles in the All-Star Game on Tuesday despite reports of him being sent to the Dodgers, expressed his appreciation toward the Baltimore organization during a midgame interview on the Fox broadcast.

“It was a tremendous honor to wear this uniform. They gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues,” Machado said. “That’s everyone’s dream, they gave me that. They gave me the opportunity to play shortstop again. The organization has done everything (for me).

“So if this is the last time (wearing an Orioles uniform) ... hopefully I did everything I could for the organization.”

Machado finishes his Orioles career with a .283 average, 162 home runs and 471 RBIs in seven seasons.

“Manny Machado provided Orioles fans with many great memories over his eight years in Birdland,” Duquette said in a statement immediately following the trade. “We will always appreciate his talent and wish him the best in the National League.”

Diaz, 21, hit .314 with six home runs and 30 RBIs in 59 games with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate in Tulsa, Okla., this season. He impressed at Sunday’s All-Star Futures Game, slugging two home runs.

“We liked the depth of the Dodger package, we liked the quality of the players in the package, and we liked Yusniel Diaz, a player we feel is a gifted hitter,’’ Duquette told reporters on the call. “We felt he was clearly the best player offered to us during this recent market. He was the key to the trade. But the other players in the trade are also very talented.’’

Kremer, 22, was 6-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 17 combined starts with high Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Tulsa. Pop, 21, was 1-2 with seven saves and a 1.04 ERA in 30 games with low Class-A Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga.

Valera, 26, is the only player headed back to the Orioles in the trade with major league experience, having appeared in 20 games with the Dodgers this season. He hit .172 with four runs and four RBIs. Bannon, 22, hit .296 with 20 home runs and 61 RBIs in 89 games with Rancho Cucamonga.

—Field Level Media

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