The biggest name available on the Major League Baseball trade market was dealt from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a package that included five prospects.
Statistically Speaking examines the deal sending star shortstop Manny Machado to the West Coast.
2018 MINOR-LEAGUE STATS
|Yusniel Diaz||LAD AA||OF||59||220||6||30||8||.314||.428||.477||.905|
|Rylan Bannon||LAD A||3B||89||338||20||61||4||.296||.402||.559||.961|
|Breyvic Valera||LAD AAA||INF||56||201||6||25||4||.284||.350||.433||.783|
2018 MINOR-LEAGUE STATS
|Dean Kremer||LAD A||SP||16||79.0||6||3||0||3.30||1.18||114||26|
|Zach Pop||LAD A||RP||30||43.1||1||2||7||1.04||0.88||47||13|
The Dodgers Get: SS Manny Machado
Machado, 26, is a star, the biggest and best available on the trade market because he will be a free agent at season’s end.
Since the start of the 2015 season, he has slugged 129 home runs, which ranks seventh in baseball, and has a cumulative fWAR of 19.1, which ranks 10th among position players.
Machado moved from third base to shortstop this season, and his defensive impact at the new position has been lacking. Among 23 qualified shortstops, Machado ranks 23rd in Ultimate Zone Rating, 23rd in Defensive Runs Saved and 23rd by Fan Graphs’ defensive impact.
Nevertheless, that’s a small defensive sample and he’s historically been an excellent defender at third base. Machado is also a premier hitter who is hitting a career-high .315 with a career-high .963 OPS this season. He’s a massive addition to the Dodgers lineup and probably makes them the top team in the National League.
In Los Angeles, there is a perfect fit awaiting Machado because Dodgers starting shortstop Corey Seager is out for the season due to injury. Machado may be a rental for Los Angeles, but he figures to have an impact of about a couple of wins over the rest of the season.
The Orioles Get: OF Yusniel Diaz, 3B Rylan Bannon, 3B Breyvic Valera, RHP Dean Kremer, and RHP Zach Pop
Diaz is the prize prospect in the deal for Baltimore. The 21-year-old is hitting .314 with a .905 OPS at Double-A, and while he hasn’t hit for a whole lot of power, he has walked 41 times, while striking out 39 times, leading to a .428 on-base percentage. Those indicators suggest that he will have a good shot at becoming a major leaguer. Defensively, he’s been splitting this season between right and centre field.
22-year-old Bannon is destroying High-A ball, hitting .296 with a .961 OPS, and mashing 20 home runs in 89 games. He strikes out a lot, so it will be interesting to see if Bannon’s power bat climbs the ladder with him, but he’s a worthwhile venture for the Orioles.
Valera is a 26-year-old who has appeared in 25 major-league games, hitting .154 with a .404 OPS. He’s hit .314 with a .814 OPS in 246 games at Triple-A, which suggests that he’s a good minor leaguer, perhaps worthy of filling a role as a utility infielder, but he’s not offering much upside.
Kremer, 22, is a power pitcher who has been dominant in 17 minor-league starts this season. The Orioles are desperate for quality starting pitching, so if Kremer could develop into a legit major league starter over the next year or two, that would go a long way towards making this deal palatable.
Pop is a 21-year-old from Brampton, Ontario, who has been dominant in the bullpen. He may not be anything more than a bullpen arm, but that shouldn’t be dismissed so easily given how many team’s are deploying their pitchers.
With Machado departing, the Orioles are likely to move Tim Beckham back to shortstop, while Danny Valencia sees more regular action at third base.
Verdict: It’s easy to like this deal from the Dodgers’ perspective. They land a star player without having to give up premier talent in return. Now, with five assets going to Baltimore, the Orioles are at least giving themselves a chance to hit on multiple pieces. But, it’s going to take time for any of those pieces to turn into major leaguers, let alone possible impact players at the major league level.
Scott Cullen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org