The Los Angeles Dodgers have acquired shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles, per multiple reports. In a trade where Baltimore appears to be getting quantity over quality, the Orioles are receiving five minor leaguers, highlighted by outfielder Yusniel Diaz. Along with Diaz, the Dodgers are giving up Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.
Diaz is the headliner, a Cuban outfielder who got a $15.5 million signing bonus when the Dodgers landed him in 2015. He is #47 on the most recent Baseball America top 100 prospect list, putting him in the same tier as Leody Taveras, Julio Pablo Martinez and Willie Calhoun, all of whom are in the 50s.
None of the other four players made BA’s top 10 mid-season list for the Dodgers. Kremer, 22, is a righthanded pitcher just promoted to AA from the California League. He has an impressive 3.03 ERA on the year with 125 Ks against 29 walks in 86 IP this year. Pop, 21, is a righthanded reliever who was a 7th round pick in 2017, and who has split the 2018 season between low-A and high-A. Bannon, 22, is a 2B/3B who was the Dodgers’ 8th round pick out of Xavier last year, and who has a 961 OPS in the Cal League. Valera, 26, was acquired by the Dodgers from the Cardinals this past offseason. He is a utility type who has played every position in the minors except catcher, but who has largely played second base in his career.
Machado is one of the best players in baseball, but is a free agent after the season, and with the Orioles going nowhere, he was an obvious guy to trade. I didn’t think a couple of months ago the Dodgers would be in the mix for Machado, even having lost Corey Seager, but they have re-claimed the N.L. West division lead after a bad start to the season, and now are plugging in a legitimate superstar into the middle of the lineup.
The obvious comparison with this deal is last year’s Yu Darvish trade, where the Rangers got Willie Calhoun, A.J. Alexy and Brendon Davis back from the Dodgers for Darvish. Machado is better than Darvish, but I’m not sure the Orioles’ return necessarily reflects how much better he is. Calhoun and Diaz as the headliners are similar, and Kremer + Bannon v. Alexy + Davis would seem to be similar, though off the cuff my sense is that the Orioles pair is better. That leaves an A ball reliever and a 26 year old utility guy as the remainder of the difference in those deals. I would have thought that Machado would bring back more, even as a rental.