The Manny Machado sweepstakes appears to be coming to a close, and it looks like the Los Angeles Dodgers will be the lucky winner.
According to a report by The Athletic, the Baltimore Orioles are prepared to trade Machado to the Dodgers in exchange for a package that includes minor-league outfielder Yusniel Diaz, with the trade likely to become official on Wednesday.
Trade Rumors Swirl During All-Star Game
The growing talk of a likely trade created an unusual scene at Tuesday night’s All-Star Game, where Machado was playing for the American League. With the trade seemingly on the verge of happening, that meant the exhibition would likely be his final game in an Orioles uniform.
After being removed from the game in the sixth inning, Machado was asked what he was feeling knowing that his time in Baltimore might be at an end.
“It was a tremendous honor to wear this uniform,” Machado told Fox. “They gave me the opportunity to come up and play in the big leagues. That’s everyone’s dream, and they gave me that.”
There have been rumors linking Machado with virtually every major contender, including the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies. But the Dodgers have made sense as a destination ever since shortstop Corey Seager went down for the season with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right arm at the end of April.
Dodgers Players Excited to Bring in Machado
Los Angeles is currently 53-43, and sits a half-game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West standings. Some of the Dodgers’ players who were on the NL All-Star Team expressed excitement over the possibility of adding Machado to their roster.
“He’s actually one of my favorite players to watch,” outfielder Matt Kemp told The Baltimore Sun. “He’s a great player, and if that’s something that happens, I think LA would be excited about it and it would definitely help our team win more games.”
“If you put that bat in the middle of our lineup, he could make things pretty special,” pitcher Ross Stripling told the Sun. “I heard the deal is final. Hopefully, it’s with us.”
The 25-year-old Machado is one of the premier hitters in baseball. So far this season, he is hitting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 runs batted in. But with the Orioles languishing in last place in the AL East with a 28-69 record, and with Machado hitting free agency at the end of the season, Baltimore has been looking to get something for their star before he would likely leave in the offseason.
While Machado would certainly help the Dodgers make a playoff push, the team might still be looking to fill other holes before the trade deadline. In particular, Los Angeles is searching for relief pitching to help bolster a bullpen that has been weak outside of closer Kenley Jansen.
Even with those problems, the Dodgers remain one of the favorites to win the World Series this season – and their odds are improving now that it appears Machado will be joining the lineup. Ladbrokes has last year’s National League champions as a 7/1 pick to win the World Series, behind only the defending champion Houston Astros (4/1), the Boston Red Sox (9/2), and the New York Yankees (5/1).