And the long-awaited end to the Manny Machado trade saga is over.
Per Ken Rosenthal, the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to trade Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers for prospects Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon, and Breyvic Valera.
Machado is having the best year of his career so far, slashing .315/.387/.575 (156 wRC+) with 24 home runs for the Orioles this year. Machado has been perhaps the only bright spot for the Orioles, who, along with the Royals, are reaching historic levels of ineptitude this year. Machado is only under contract for the next couple months, however, which is why his return is rather light.
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) June 23, 2018
Machado’s 3.8 fWAR puts him 12th in the major leagues among hitters so far in 2018. Machado will have the third highest fWAR in the National League, with only Nolan Arenado and Freddie Freeman surpassing him among hitters in the senior circuit.
Machado will almost certainly be the Dodgers’ starting shortstop, filling the void left by the injured Corey Seager. Machado is a horrible shortstop, with all defensive metrics ranking him the worst in the league by a wide margin, but Machado has insisted that he wants to remain there with whatever team he signs for in free agency. Thus, it seems rather unlikely that Manny Machado sticks around in a Dodger uniform for more than the next couple months.
It is worth noting that, since no major contracts are going the other way in this deal, it seems like the Dodgers may possibly above the luxury tax threshold. This means that, should they be active in the free agency market this offseason, they will have higher penalties than some of the other big free agency players.
As for the return, the Orioles definitely didn’t get a bad haul. Sure, Yusniel Diaz will likely never be Manny Machado, but he will be more than enough value, given that the Dodgers are likely only getting 2.5-3 fWAR or so out of Machado.
Diaz, the marquee piece in this trade, is the Dodgers’ fourth-ranked prospect (per MLB Pipeline), and baseball’s 84th best prospect. Diaz doesn’t have one aspect of his game that particularly stands out, but he’s really hitting well for AA Tulsa this year, slashing .314/.428/.477. Diaz has six home runs in AA this year, but that doesn’t include the two he hit at the MLB Futures Game on Sunday.
The last player to homer twice in a #FuturesGame was a skinny #Yankees prospect named Alfonso Soriano in the very first edition 20 years ago. @Dodgers' Yusniel Diaz did it tonight. More: https://t.co/v4sBRVSQ0b pic.twitter.com/KuE4mn1giY
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) July 16, 2018
Rylan Bannon, a third baseman, was the Dodgers’ 27th ranked prospect. Much like Diaz, Bannon doesn’t have an aspect of his game which particularly stands out, but he is a solid prospect nonetheless. Bannon is lighting up high A right now, slashing .296/.402/.559 with 20 home runs in 89 games.
Dean Kremer is one spot lower than Bannon on the Dodgers prospect rankings. A starting pitcher, Kremer has a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts at AA Tulsa. Kremer has three high-graded pitches, but his fastball stands out as his best pitch. Kremer may end up being a late reliever at the next level.