2018 Fantasy Baseball: Los Angeles Dodgers Acquire Manny Machado
The Dodgers completed the most significant trade of the 2018 season when they traded five prospects to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for shortstop Manny Machado. We knew something was going on when all-star outfielder Matt Kemp pretended to take a selfie with Machado during the all-star game. The deal likely will be the biggest of the trade deadline and could have the largest impact on the pennant chase in the National League. It also arguably will open the floodgates league wide.
Why the Dodgers make this trade
The Dodgers have arguably had a hole in their lineup since Corey Seager went down with a season ending injury early in the season. They have a very flexible lineup, so we will see shortstop Chris Taylor likely move back to the outfield and Cody Bellinger move back to first base. Rookie Max Muncey can shift over to second base giving the Dodgers the deepest lineup in baseball. Machado brings a .315 average with 24 home runs and 65 RBI to the Dodgers and gives them another all-star bat to go along with Kemp.
Obviously, with Seager coming back in 2019, the Dodgers are unlikely to sign Machado following the season. This is a pure rental and a major move designed to win the 2018 World Series championship. So, picking a winner for this trade is impossible in the moment because the deal is dependent on success in October. The Dodgers are also likely not done adding to their roster. In exchange for this opportunity they surrender their fourth best prospect (according to MLB.com) and the 84th ranked prospect in the game. The other four are ranked outside of the industry top 100 and outside of the Dodgers top 20. If they can return to and win the World Series you could argue that it was all worth it. If they are unable to advance to the World Series it might not be worth the gamble.
Why the Orioles make this trade
Manny Machado was not going to re-sign with the Orioles. They are going through the beginning phases of a major rebuild. Machado is positioned to get a 200+ million dollar contract and is having the best season of his career. So, it makes zero sense for them to keep him through the end of the season. They have already lost nearly 70 games, so they have a 0.0 percent chance of advancing to the postseason. So, why not get some prospects for him before he leaves via free agency?
Evaluating this end of a trade is nearly impossible. Who knows what packages other teams were offering for Machado? We do know that they would have gotten a compensation pick if they had kept him. so getting five prospects (including the 84th ranked prospect) has to be seen as a win, Yusniel Diaz is the top prospect going to the Orioles and he should start in AAA for the Orioles. Given the relative dearth of talent in Baltimore, we can surmise that they added either three or four top 30 prospects in the deal. That’s obviously a good prospect haul to begin their rebuild. We can probably speculate that they will deal Zach Britton at the very least and maybe Adam Jones and another couple of relievers. If they are able to pull those deals off then they may be able to add seven or eight top 30 prospects to their system.
What this deal means for you
Manny Machado owners have to be pleased. Dodger Stadium is a worse stadium to hit in than Camden Yards, but the Dodgers lineup is perhaps the deepest in the game. That means more runs and RBI for Machado. If Muncey does move to second base then he will be eligible by the middle of August at second base in most leagues. That obviously adds a ton of value as well. The rest of the Dodgers will get a slight bump and the Orioles like Tim Beckham will get more opportunities as well.