No one made a bigger splash at the non-waiver trade deadline this season than the Los Angeles Dodgers, acquiring four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for five prospects.
Machado is set to hit free agency at the end of the season, so he could potentially be just a rental. But for a team starving for a World Series after falling just short in 2017, trading a player of his caliber made perfect sense.
Machado’s talent was on display on Friday night in Game 2 of the National League Division Series when he took Atlanta Braves starter Anibal Sanchez deep for a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Dodgers an early lead. Those two runs ended up being all the Dodgers needed as Clayton Kershaw tossed a gem to shut the Braves out for the second consecutive night.
After the game, Machado discussed his short time in Los Angeles, expressing his gratitude for how welcoming everyone has been. “Honestly, I mean it’s still sinking in. I mean, it’s been a crazy year,” Machado said.
“Now being here in the postseason with this ball club, I mean, it’s been unbelievable. I’m still kind of saying the wrong names around the clubhouse. But I mean everyone’s been so, so amazing, I mean the organization, the front office, owners. They’ve been beyond kind. They’ve been beyond awesome. And they’ve definitely made me feel like I’m at home.”
Machado is expected to command one of the biggest contracts in Major League history on the open market this winter and with shortstop Corey Seager due back from injury in 2019, the Dodgers may not be willing to pay Machado as much as some other teams.
The 26-year-old is one of the bright young stars in the sport right now though and his impact on the team has been huge, so perhaps they find a way to make it work and keep Machado with the organization.