Around the same time the Los Angeles Dodgers officially activated newly acquired shortstop Manny Machado, the four-time All-Star bid farewell and thanked the Baltimore Orioles and their fans on Friday afternoon.
Machado, who was dealt to L.A. on Wednesday for five prospects headlined by outfielder Yusniel Diaz, wrote a lengthy post on Instagram to the team he spent more than eight years with, and the fans who cheered him along the way.
It reads in full:
“To my Baltimore family,
“I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart!
“To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be...I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you.
“To my teammates, we’ve shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I’ll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! !
“Much love always,
Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, whom Machado referred to as “Schoopy” in his note, told reporters he left his vacation to drive to Machado’s house and say goodbye in person.
“I broke down like a kid,” Schoop said. “I cried when I went to his house. I won’t see him because he’s a Dodger. I broke down and started to cry. I wish him the best and the emotions are still going on.”
The Dodgers activated Machado before Friday night’s game at the Milwaukee Brewers. In a corresponding move, the team optioned outfielder Andrew Toles to Triple-A Oklahoma City
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. With each of those figures on pace for career highs, he’s projected to fetch a long-term deal approaching $300 million on the open market this winter.
—Field Level Media