Los Angeles (AFP) – All-Star shortstop Manny Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers from the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday, filling a key need as the reigning National League champions seek their first Major League Baseball title since 1988.
“The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera,” the Dodgers said in a statement posted on Twitter — confirming a deal that had been reported to be in the works for days.
The Orioles, with the second-worst record in the major leagues, received five prospects in a deal hammered out two weeks before the trade deadline, one which helps Baltimore to rebuild for the future and the Dodgers to chase a championship now.
At 53-43, the Dodgers are only one-half game ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks and two games atop Colorado in a tense National League West division fight with the campaign to resume Friday for most clubs after a break for the 89th MLB All-Star Game.
Corey Seager just a month into the 2018 campaign to elbow reconstruction surgery, ending his season after only 26 games.
While Los Angeles has battled to the top of the division with fill-ins at shortstop, going 17-9 in June and 10-4 to start July, landing a superstar shortstop in Machado would be just what the Dodgers need.
Machado, an American of Dominican heritage, was considered the top impact player on a struggling team that would be available for a move.
The 26-year-old is a four-time All-Star who boasts a .283 batting average with 977 hits and 162 home runs with 471 runs batted in over a seven-season career, all with the Orioles.
He entered the All-Star break with a .315 batting average for the season, 24 home runs and a .963 on-base-plus-slugging percentage — ranking among the American League’s top six in each category.
Machado had said at the All-Star Game that he looked forward to knowing where he would go after weeks of speculation about his fate with half a dozen clubs involved.
The Dodgers sent to Baltimore in exchange outfielder Yusniel Diaz, pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, second baseman Breyvic Valera and third baseman Rylan Bannon.
Diaz, who on Sunday became only the second player with two homers in the All-Star Futures Game, is considered the most talented player of the lot.
Machado is still owed about $6.3 million for this season but the Dodgers will remain under the $197 million luxury tax limit under MLB salary rules.