Photo: Dylan Buell (Getty)

The worst-kept secret of the All-Star Game was that then-Orioles shortstop Manny Machado was heading to the Dodgers, in a trade that wouldn’t be announced until after the break—to avoid the awkwardness of Machado wearing an Orioles uniform in the ASG and head off the possibility of his story overshadowing what’s supposed to be a sport-wide celebration. Machado played coy when asked about it, but we now know that he knew his Baltimore days were over.

From a report in USA Today (which was the first to report, on Tuesday, that Machado was going to L.A.), Machado was informed that he was being traded last Sunday, after the Orioles removed him from a game in the fourth inning following a rain delay.

“That’s when they had told me I had been traded,” Machado said. “They said they pretty much had a deal done. They just wanted to wait until after the break to get all of the medical stuff done.

“They kept me up to date as much as they could, but they wouldn’t tell me where I was going. Only that I was going somewhere.”

The Orioles had publicly announced that Machado was being removed only to avoid the risk of injury on a wet field, a little white lie to cover the fact that a trade had been agreed upon, centering on outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz and including four other minor leaguers. Which makes the rumormongering that continued into Monday, with (generally accurate) reports on which team was in the lead, look kind of funny in retrospect. But the Orioles kept their secrets well.

Machado says he thought he was going to be a Dodger, but he wasn’t yet certain when, during the ASG, he snapped a selfie with Matt Kemp at second base.

“I kind of had a feeling it was going to be L.A.,” said Machado, “but at that point nothing was sure. When I took that picture with Matt, I didn’t know for sure we were going to be teammates, and certainly not locker mates.”

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The deal was formally completed, following medical exams, on Wednesday. In three games in Dodger Blue, Machado is 5-for-13. And he’s in first place.

[USA Today]