With Corey Seager sidelined for the remainder of the 2018 season after undergoing successful Tommy John surgery, many began to speculate the Los Angeles Dodgers would emerge as a potential trade suitor for Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado.
The fit is natural, given that Machado is one of the best all-around players in baseball and can seamlessly replace, if not exceed, Seager’s lost production. The Dodgers reportedly held internal discussions over the prospect of trading for Machado to fill the void left by Seager.
Though, there isn’t much optimism that a trade can ultimately come to fruition. One potential hindrance is the Orioles’ exorbitant asking cost for Machado.
According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, a rival executive believes the club will insist on receiving Dodgers top prospect Walker Buehler in any potential trade for their star shortstop:
“The Orioles will want Buehler,” one rival executive surmises.
It’s no surprise that the Orioles are seeking an elite talent such as Buehler, who is one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. But it’s also difficult to fathom a potential scenario where the Dodgers trade him at all — even for a bonafide superstar in Machado.
For one, the 25-year-old is scheduled to reach free agency at the conclusion of the season. The Dodgers certainly wouldn’t trade Buehler for a four-month rental at best, especially after being reluctant to deal him in previous opportunities for other stars.
The Dodgers will have the resources to re-sign Machado, but a long-term fit in Los Angeles isn’t possible without some maneuvering. Machado can play any position on the left side of the infield, but the club is already covered there with All-Stars Justin Turner and Seager.
Unless one of the aforementioned names is willing to change positions next season, it’s hard to see an ideal match for both parties.