O’s Trade Manny Machado to Dodgers

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Orioles pulled the trigger on a deal for Manny Machado, dealing the superstar to the Los Angeles Dodgers for five prospects.

ESR Staff react to the news here:

Derek Arnold

I thought I was ready for this. Then I spent a good chunk of yesterday pulling together highlights for our So Long Manny piece, and man…I was suddenly NOT ready for this. Not at all. I’m going to miss that damn human highlight reel more than I realized.

Emotions aside for a moment…the good news is that it seems like the Birds, while certainly not fleecing LA, got a bit more for Manny than many analysts expected just a few short weeks ago. OF Yusniel Diaz is the centerpiece. He homered twice in the Futures Game on Sunday. The 21-year-old Cuban was ranked as the Dodgers’ #4 prospect by FanGraphs just the other day.

When Yasiel Puig finally departs LA, another Cuban may replace him. Just 21, Diaz is having a strong showing in double-A. Like Verdugo, he has an advanced approach for his age and controls the strike zone extremely well (BB-K of 41-39). Unlike his peer, he produces more in-game pop and could eventually hit 20+ homers in a full big league season. He has the ability to play all three outfield positions.

He was number 73 on the Baseball Prospectus Top 101 this Spring.

The others look to be very hit-or-miss. Unfortunately, all day long reporters were tossing around some bigger-name Dodger prospects, and now that those guys aren’t included, much of Birdland is even more upset than they had planned on being 24 hours ago or so.

By all means, be upset that Manny Machado is gone. I certainly am. Beyond that though? Let’s just wait and see.

Andrew Stetka

The inevitable has finally come for the Orioles and Manny Machado. The man who is quite possibly the most talented player to ever come out of the O’s organization is off to L.A. to join the Dodgers. The “adjusted” feeling on this is that the Orioles should be pleased in getting a top 50 prospect (Yusniel Diaz) back in return. In fact, for a rental player, it’s a very good thing.

But I can’t help but wonder what the return would’ve been for Machado if the Birds had some kind of self-awareness and traded him at last year’s break. The team wasn’t in it, and decided to hold on to players like Machado and Zach Britton. It set the organization back a full season at least.

As for the Dodgers, I can’t help but wonder if they would’ve made this move had they been the team that went out and acquired Justin Verlander last year instead of Yu Darvish. Verlander went on to burn them in the World Series, and they weren’t about to be outbid this year in acquiring the top target at the deadline. This should vault them to the NL West title, though they still need more pitching as well.

Machado won’t stay in Los Angeles beyond this year. My guess is that he’s the shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2019, and if not, he likely ends up with the New York Yankees. Gulp.

Phil Backert

The question for the Orioles when it came to the package for Machado was whether they wanted to get 2-3 solid prospects or one high ceiling prospect and potentially 1-2 players who could be productive. They chose to get the high ceiling prospect in outfielder Yusniel Diaz and hope one or two of the other four players will turn out to be solid Major Leaguers.

I don’t blame them as I would want a potential superstar when I’m trading a superstar. Diaz will be how we grade this trade. If he becomes an All-Star this is a win, if not, then there will be a lot more losing on the horizon.

Paul Valle

The Orioles did a job today, trading arguably the best homegrown position player in franchise history for 5 minor league prospects. The centerpiece of the Manny Machado deal coming back to Baltimore is top outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz, who should turn into a solid player, if not a superstar. They got a big hitting 3B prospect in Rylan Bannon who hits for average and power and gets on base, a big armed reliever in Zach Pop, and a RHP starter in Dean Kremer who has pitched very well this year at two different stops in the minor leagues.

Breyvic Valera is fringe utility infielder who has had a cup of coffee in the majors. At 26, he would appear to be a thrown in. All-in-all, the Orioles seem to have gotten a solid haul for their All-Star shortstop, though most of these players could still be two to three years away.

The Orioles needed to come out looking like winners with this one, because the fan base seems to be pretty fed up with the front office. While that remains to be seen, on the surface it looks like Baltimore got some fine young players.

Joe DiBasilio

It’s a Greek Tragedy. Not because the Orioles moved Machado – they had to, and by all reports they did well on their return.

The tragedy lies in the end of an era of hope, one that was defined by missed opportunity. The O’s return to prominence in 2012 saw an awakening of talent, and a roster with Manny, Markakis, Jones, Wieters, Crush Davis (not his evil twin brother Whiff), Hardy, a dominant bullpen and the best defensive team in MLB…produced one playoff series win.

Machado’s trade (although a step in the right direction now) is the culminating centerpiece of a series of terrible organizational decisions over this span, from not replacing Markakis, to not re-signing Cruz, paying Davis, signing O’Day over Andrew Miller, etc etc.

Machado was such a rarity for this franchise: a home grown superstar with enough talent around him to make several runs at the elusive World Series title. The Orioles squandered this window, and now must begin the dreaded rebuild. Machado cannot be the only move made; Britton, Jones, Givens, Trumbo, Brach, the picture hanging in Buck’s office… all of it needs to be made available to hopefully right this ship and usher in a new era of hope.

Brien Jackson

In addition to Diaz, a consensus top 100 prospect who is already producing at the Double-A level, the Orioles are getting an impressive amount of depth from the Dodgers’ loaded system. They’re also getting guys who are excelling at their highest levels to date. Kremer and Pop have racked up the strikeouts and could be impact relievers down the road. Bannon jumped straight to High-A this season and is hitting a robust .296/.402/.559. And while Valera hasn’t done much in a couple of dozen big league games, he hit .314/.377/.437 on 950 plate appearances.

That’s not as overwhelming as when rumors we’re floating that Dustin May was going to be in the deal along with Diaz, and it might even be less than what they were offered for Manny over the winter, but it’s still a heck of a haul for a rental and the brain trust at the Warehouse deserves credit for how they handled this process. This is a good start to rebuilding the farm system and, depending on how bullish you are on Austin Hays and DJ. .Stewart at the moment, the Orioles might have 4 top 100 prospects with the addition of Diaz.

Now the focus turns to Zach Britton and, eventually, Adam Jones and Brad Brach. So far though, the Orioles are handling the difficult process of selling off major pieces as well as could be expected.

Jonathan French

Fans knew the Orioles had to trade Manny Machado before the deadline, so the facts that he performed well offensively and also didn’t get hurt already were a win. The Orioles had Manny at his maximum value for the last few months of control. That helped them in creating a market for Manny and would secure them at least one top 100 prospect. The hope always was that some team would overpay and at least put that one prospect in the top 50. With Yusniel Diaz, they got that top 50 prospect. Diaz profiles to be a bat with great plate discipline, good range and a strong arm in the OF and could play any outfield position so that will give the Orioles options. Ultimately I see him settling in at right field and hitting somewhere in the top of the order. The Dodgers had to pay $15.5 million to sign him from Cuba and then because they exceeded their bonus money they had to pay a 100% penalty on his salary so a total cost of $31 million. That tells you how much potential the Dodgers thought he had to pay that price and he’s living up to it this season in AA.

As for the rest of the deal, no there aren’t any other top 100 prospects, but Rylan Bannon is having a tremendous year offensively in High A Rancho Cucamonga, just one year removed from being drafted in the 8th round. He’s going to have to find a position – similar to Ryan Mountcastle – but his bat definitely is something to watch. Dean Kremer is the first Israeli-American to be drafted by an MLB team. Dan Duquette, as some might remember, was a founding member of the Israel Baseball League. Kremer seems like he could profile as a middle of the rotation starter and currently has 114 strikeouts in 85 IP with a 3.30 ERA between High A and AA. Zach Pop is currently Rancho Cucamonga’s closer and has been groomed for a back end of the bullpen role since he was drafted one round ahead of Bannon last year. Valera is an organizational utility player that the Dodgers acquired from the Cardinals earlier this season that will likely ride the Baltimore to Norfolk shuttle as depth.

Overall there are lottery tickets after Diaz, but all of the players save for Valera have nice upside. Somebody in the organization did well to park themselves in Rancho Cucamonga.

As for Manny, while his bat seems to have reached its potential, his once renowned defense has slipped to be among the league’s worst at shortstop and even at third base last season he no longer had as much range as he did when he first came up with the team and earned a Platinum Glove. To become the hitter he is now, he sacrificed his defense, and although he thinks he can still play shortstop effectively, the fielding metrics don’t back him up. The Manny Machado fans will see from now on will do plenty of things with his bat, but it seems his Platinum Glove will be a memory. Orioles fans were able to see the best combination of offense and defense that Manny Machado had to offer and I think we’ll look back on this trade as a big success and be glad the Dodgers still bought into the hype.

Matt Pyne

Our expectations were too high coming into the trade. It’s a move that kicks off a rebuild (the dreaded R word). We immediately add an impact prospect and probably the best prospect in our system in Yusniel Diaz and some complementary pieces that add depth. Ownership seems finally willing to move veterans for prospects and that should give Orioles fans, in part, hope for the future of the franchise.

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