We probably won’t know for sure until after tonight’s All-Star Game, but it looks like the Baltimore Orioles have a deal in place for Manny Machado. According to Jon Heyman and others, the Los Angeles Dodgers are leading the way.
“Breaking; The Dodgers appear to be the leading contender for superstar Manny Machado as talks head toward the finish line. The situation is fluid and brewers and phillies may still have an outside chance…”
<whispers> It definitely won’t be the Brewers.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are currently 53-43 and leading the NL West by a half-game after a slow and injury-filled start to the season. Adding Machado at this point just doesn’t seem fair. Corey Seager is out for the season, but they’re still getting solid production from Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal. Matt Kemp has turned back the clock. Max Muncy is the breakout star of 2018. Yasiel Puig was starting to roll before landing on the disabled list, and Cody Bellinger is still out here hitting dingers.
In the meantime, Machado is having a career year at the dish. He’s slashing .315/.387/.575 with 21 doubles and 24 home runs. The walk rate is up to 10.9 percent while his strikeout rate is down over four ticks from last season to 12.3 percent. His wRC+ of 156 is eighth-best in all of baseball. That number paces all shortstops.
Plus the Dodgers are one of a small number of teams that could feasibly re-sign him in the offseason. With Seager coming back they probably won’t, but you never know. In the meantime, Machado appears to be accepting what’s likely to be his next step. Once more from Heyman:
“Manny Machado just stopped by, and he said he’s seeing the reports of Dodgers and thinks/assumes they’re right (tho he said he doesn’t know for sure). The Miami product who’s been an Orioles his whole career said: ‘It’ll be different. But different can be good.'”
Not for the rest of the National League it won’t.