Manny Machado is heading west. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported yesterday that the Baltimore Orioles had the framework of a deal in place to trade Machado to the Dodgers for a bushel of prospects, and the trade finally went through today after a “brief medical blip” caused both parties to stay at the negotiating table. It seems that the announcement was also possibly pushed back until today at the request of commissioner Rob Manfred, who didn’t want the trade news to overshadow last night’s All-Star Game.
The Dodgers emerged as the favorites in the Machado sweepstakes earlier this week, and they held off strong pushes from the Phillies and Brewers to get their man. Dan Duquette seems to have played all the interested parties off of each other very well to get the strongest possible offer. Baltimore will get back five prospects, including outfielder Yusniel Diaz, the Dodgers’ fourth-highest rated prospect.
Machado will be a free agent this offseason, and his inevitably large contract would likely push the Dodgers’ payroll up to one of the most expensive two in the league if he re-signs in Los Angeles. As Jon Heyman suggests, the Dodgers could shuffle around their infield and move Cody Bellinger to the outfield in order to maximize the power in their lineup. The NL West is weak as shit this year, and the addition of Machado should give the Dodgers the edge in an oddly tight race against the Diamondbacks, Giants, and Rockies.
Who knows how that one will end up, but I can say for certain that Machado seems like he’ll look good in Dodger blue.