The Los Angeles Dodgers made a huge trade just prior to the 2nd half of the season as they acquired star 3rd baseman Manny Machado from the Orioles in exchange for minor league prospects Yusniel Diaz, Rylan Bannon, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, and Breyvic Valera.
This trade just shows that the Dodgers are all-in for the 2018 season as they are paying a hefty price to acquire an elite player for what will likely be just a few months. Los Angeles had a big need at shortstop after they lost Corey Seager to injury early on in the season. Also, 3rd baseman Justin Turner has missed a big chunk of the season as he has dealt with injuries. The good news is that Machado can play either 3rd base or shortstop and he gives the Dodgers a huge threat in their lineup. Machado is having possibly the best year of his entire career as he batted .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI’s for the Orioles. There is no doubt that Machado makes the Dodgers a much more dangerous team in the short-term. However, this is an extremely risky trade since they are giving up 5 young prospects just to try and win a world series this season. The good news is that they didn’t give up their top prospect, but they still gave up several quality young prospects. It is unlikely that Machado re-signs with the Dodgers after this season since they should have Corey Seager back from injury in 2019, yet Machado is a player that can help the team a lot in 2018. Overall, the Dodgers are a much better team this season, although they might look back in the future and regret this trade especially if they don’t accomplish their lofty goals in 2018.
Manny Machado was basically the lone bright spot in what has been an absolutely miserable 2018 season for the Baltimore Orioles. However, this was a trade that had to be made since Machado is a free agent after the season and the Orioles had basically no chance to re-sign him. Machado would have cost the Orioles too much and the team wouldn’t be in much of a position to be a competitive team the next few years. The Orioles are now showing that they are focusing on the future by acquiring 5 young prospects for Machado. It is unfortunate that the Orioles didn’t get the Dodgers top prospect, but they are still getting some quality young players. The headliner of this deal from Baltimore’s perspective is clearly outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz. He now becomes the 2nd best prospect in the Orioles farm system according to MLB.com and he is ranked as the number 84 prospect in the entire MLB. Diaz is a terrific contact hitter as proven by his .314 batting average for the Dodgers Double-A team. He does have some good power as proven in the All-Star Futures Game when he hit 2 home runs. However, he hasn’t really shown much power in the minor leagues as he only has six home runs this year. Diaz is still likely a couple of years away from reaching the majors, yet he has the highest potential of any player that Baltimore received in this deal. The next best prospect that the Orioles received in this deal was right-handed pitcher Dean Kremer who now becomes the Orioles 13th best prospect according to MLB.com. Kremer is 22 years old, yet he still has quite a bit of time before reaching the majors. Kremer has been terrific in the minor leagues this year as he was 5-3 with a 3.30 ERA in High-A before recently being promoted to Double-A in the Dodgers system. Kremer has the potential to be a good 3rd or 4th starting pitcher in the Orioles rotation in a few years. Meanwhile, the Orioles acquired yet another promising player with 3rd baseman Rylan Bannon as he now becomes the Orioles 17th ranked prospect. Bannon is a rising prospect that really showcased his outstanding power this season. He has hit 20 home runs to go along with a .296 average at High-A in the Dodgers minor league system. Bannon also is a good defensive player, so if he can keep up this type of offensive production then he could be a starter at the MLB level one day. The other prospect that Baltimore received is right-handed pitcher Zach Pop who now ranks as the 29th prospect for the Orioles according to MLB.com. Pop has had a terrific season at the Single-A level for the Dodgers as he had a very impressive 1.04 ERA. He figures to be promoted to Double-A by the Orioles and it is possible we could see him in the majors in 2020 or even sooner if he continues at his current pace. Pop is a terrific strikeout pitcher and he has the potential to be a good late-inning relief pitcher at some point. Finally, the Orioles received infielder Breyvic Valera as another player in the Machado trade. Valera has the lowest potential of any player in this deal, but he is also the most MLB-ready player. Valera has already appeared in 20 games for the Dodgers this season, although he is only hitting .172 with 4 RBI’s. Valera figures to spend most of his time in Triple-A with the Orioles. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him at the MLB level this season especially with the Orioles needing some short-term infield depth after the trade of Machado. Valera is a good contact hitter and he has the ability to play almost every position. However, he is likely going to be nothing more than a bench player and utility option for the Orioles. Overall, it is unfortunate that the Orioles had to give up on Machado so soon considering he was their franchise cornerstone. However, the Orioles did receive a few quality prospects that can help the team as they rebuild for the future.