Update: Well, maybe this isn’t happening so fast.
Possible snag in Machado deal to Dodgers. Sources indicate that one or more of prospects coming to #Orioles have some issues in their physicals. Surprise surprise. May open door for other clubs. Stay tuned.— Steve Phillips (@StevePhillipsGM) July 18, 2018
Apparently there’s a holdup with the medical, because this is the Orioles, so there’s always a holdup with the medical.
Hearing nothing today to indicate the Manny Machado trade is steaming toward the finish line. There's no reason to believe it won't happen by Friday. But when the #Orioles are involved, you never know what might bog things down near the end. That's their organizational M.O.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 18, 2018
In spite of all this, the trade still looks likely to happen by tomorrow.
the medical holdup in the Machado trade isn't over top OF prospect Yusniel Diaz, the key prospect in the trade and one real name that's out there & confirmed. since it's apparently over a complementary piece (at least compared to Diaz), the chances to work it out are much better.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 18, 2018
Surely more to follow...
The worst kept secret of the All-Star Game was that Manny Machado is heading to Los Angeles. While the deal isn’t completely official yet, it appears to be pretty much certain. In return, the Orioles will likely receive a package of prospects including OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP Dustin May, and MI Errol Robinson. There could be a few more details emerging as news breaks, which means there might be some additions or substitutions, but that’s how it looks at the moment.
Stating the obvious, Machado is one of the best players in baseball. The 26-year-old is having his greatest offensive season to date. He’s setting career bests in BB-rate (10.9%), K-rate (12.3%), OBP (.387), SLG (.575), wOBA (.400), and wRC+ (156). is 3.8 fWAR through the first half of the season is the third best in MLB by a shortstop, trailing only Francisco Lindor and Andrelton Simmons.
The Phillies, Brewers, Yankees, Braves, and probably about a dozen other teams have been linked to Machado over the past few weeks. These teams will have to turn their attention elsewhere for help down the stretch. Be prepared for major aftershocks in the trade market.
As for the Dodgers, they bring over a young superstar shortstop who fits perfectly onto their roster. The reigning NL champions sit just a half game ahead of the Diamondbacks and two games ahead of the Rockies in the NL West. Their own brilliant cornerstone shortstop, Corey Seager, tore his UCL in May and will miss the rest of the season. In his absence, they’ve used super-utility man Chris Taylor at short. He’s now free to move around the diamond, as he did so well in 2017. The domino effect probably means a lot less playing time for second baseman Logan Forsythe and his 58 wRC+.
The prospect package heading to the Orioles is headlined by Diaz. The 21-year-old Cuban outfielder has demolished the AA Texas league so far, slashing .314/.428/.477. He recently ranked #31 on the Baseball Prospectus Top 50 Midseason Prospects. The Dodgers selected May in round three of the 2016 draft out of high school. The 6’6 right-hander has worked to a 3.66 RAA and 5.93 K/BB in the A+ California League this season. Los Angeles also drafted Robinson in 2016, taking the him in the sixth round from Ole Miss. His .693 OPS in AA isn’t spectacular, but he’s shown power-speed potential with 7 HR and 16 SB, while splitting time between shortstop and second base.
Obviously, there’s lots more to come as more details unfold. Stay tuned for more information, analysis, and reactions throughout the day.
Daniel R. Epstein is an elementary special education teacher and president of the Somerset County Education Association. In addition to BtBS, he writes at www.OffTheBenchBaseball.com. Tweets @depstein1983