By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Manny Machado is out of the American League East and headed off to California. The Baltimore Orioles are trading their prized shortstop to the Los Angeles Dodgers, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick first reported on Wednesday. Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan and The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal later confirmed that Machado and others were being notified of the deal. Further details of the trade have yet to be disclosed at the time of this writing.
UPDATE (Wednesday, 8:20 p.m.): Rosenthal later reported that the Orioles will receive a package of five prospects and minor-leaguers, including outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, second baseman Breyvic Valera, and right-handed pitchers Zach Pop and Dean Kremer.
More importantly for the Boston Red Sox, the deal keeps Machado away from the New York Yankees for at least the remainder of 2018. We'll see what happens when he hits free agency in the winter, but if the Yanks want a big bat they'll have to look elsewhere.
Machado batted .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs in 96 games with the Orioles in 2018. The 26-year-old has already hit 162 homers in 860 career games, and continues to play Gold Glove-caliber defense. He joins a Dodgers team that lost starting shortstop Corey Seager for the entire 2018 season to Tommy John surgery. Since he strongly prefers to play shortstop wherever he signs as a free agent, he'd be less likely to sign with the Dodgers long-term and it would also complicate things for both the Red Sox and Yankees.
The shortstop went 0-for-2 at the plate in Tuesday's All-Star Game, which the American League won 8-6. It turned out to be the last time he'd play in an Orioles uniform.
Already sitting at 28-69 and 39.5 games out of first place in the AL East, the Orioles now look toward full-on rebuilding mode with Machado gone. It's clear that Baltimore had a strong aversion, as they historically have, to trading their franchise shortstop within the AL East to the Yankees or Red Sox.
Machado is a strong possibility to take over at short for the Dodgers. They can move Chris Taylor, who's been serviceable at the plate with 11 homers and a .786 OPS, to second base or the outfield to make room.
This is a developing story and will be updated...
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].