In a move that doesn’t surprise anyone, the Baltimore Orioles have dealt superstar infielder Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deal that may include Yusniel Diaz (LA’s #4 ranked prospect), Rylan Bannon (LA’s #27 prospect), and Dean Kremer (LA’s #28 prospect), Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera, as confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Orioles getting Diaz, Kramer, Bannon, Pop, Valera, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 18, 2018
That’s a 5-for-1 deal for the ages.
How good is Yusniel Diaz? The 21-year-old prospect went deep twice in the MLB Futures Game last Sunday, and has been hitting .314 in 59 games for Double-A Tulsa.
However, Diaz is one of four Dodgers outfield prospects in their top 10. With Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor’s move back to the outfield when Seager returns, the outfield pipeline is getting awfully jammed in Los Angeles. The deal to move Diaz might sting, but in the long run, it’s a necessary move.
Machado, hitting .315 at the break, is on a 1-year deal worth $16 million from a Baltimore team that is currently in last place in the AL East. With Diaz, the club now has two prospects in the MLB’s Top 100. (Ray Mountcastle is a third baseman you can expect to see up in the Big League next season.)
Baltimore was not going to sign Machado, an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, to a long-term deal so getting Diaz in exchange for a departing superstar must have O’s fans fairly pleased with their bottom-feeding organization.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, have strengthened their half-game lead on the Diamondbacks in the NL West by adding the two-time Gold Glove winner. The Dodgers haven’t been able to fortify the shortstop position since Corey Seager had Tommy John surgery in early May. Once Clayton Kershaw finds his groove and the pitching staff shows up, this team will be unstoppable as they roll into another postseason berth.
With good showings from a bevy of NL East and Central teams this year, it looks as if the West will only have one contender this October and the L.A. Dodgers have gone full throttle in their attempt to win their 6th straight Division title.
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