The Dodgers have reportedly secured a deal with the Orioles that will land them shortstop Manny Machado. All the signs point that way and it may have already been announced if it weren’t for the fact that the All-Star Game is taking place Tuesday.
Multiple reports from Ken Rosenthal, Jon Heyman, Bob Nightengale and Jon Morosi have been buzzing with the news that the Phillies, Brewers and any other team that has inquired on the slugger, believe it’s all but done.
Machado rumors have centered on the Dodgers since it was announced that Corey Seager would miss the rest of the season, having Tommy John surgery back in May. At first blush, the need seemed to be there, and the Dodgers have the kind of system to produce prospects that could get a deal done.
The 26-year-old Machado is hitting .315/.387/.575 this season in Baltimore, with 24 homers and 21 doubles to go along with 65 RBI. Adding a bat like that to the middle of the Dodgers lineup certainly bolsters a group that has already been good.
As for the details of the trade, Double-A outfielder Yusniel Diaz has been thrown around the rumor mill as one of the potential pieces in the deal. Diaz just starred in Sunday’s Futures Game, hitting two homers in Nationals Park, not too far from where the Orioles play.
Diaz, 21, has hit .288/.363/.437 in three minor league seasons, with 26 homers in 258 games. At Tulsa this season, Diaz has a .905 OPS with more walks (41) than strikeouts (39).
We won’t know officially until Machado is done with Tuesday’s festivities, but the fascinating angle is the money. Machado is owed about $6.33 million for the rest of the season and the Dodgers want to – or really have to -- stay under the $197 million threshold for 2018. The team is currently at $185 to $186 million and still could end up owing starter Kenta Maeda close to $4 million due to incentives in his contract.
If the Dodgers want to add a reliever – they should – or another piece, they may need to shed a little salary. How they do that will be interesting as we approach the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.
Theoretically, they could also wait until August to get somebody on the cheap. Either way, the options are endless for a team with as many resources as the Dodgers have.
The trade deadline is now just under two weeks away, giving the Dodgers plenty of time to be creative.