With Corey Seager undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery in May, the Los Angeles Dodgers were dealt a major blow in the early going. The club eventually addressed his void at shortstop by acquiring four-time All-Star Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles two months later.
Machado brought with him an impressive track record and produced above-average numbers with Los Angeles, hitting .273/.338/.487 (122 OPS+) with 29 extra-base hits in 66 regular season games.
The 26-year-old played a key role in helping the Dodgers advance to the postseason, but generally struggled at the plate in October. That was especially evident in the World Series, where he recorded only four singles in 22 at-bats against the Boston Red Sox pitching staff.
After a three-month stint with the Dodgers, Machado was appreciative of his time in the organization. “I can’t be more thankful,” he said, at the conclusion of Sunday’s elimination game at Dodger Stadium.
“What a great organization, what a great group of guys. I mean, I couldn’t imagine any better picture coming over here. Obviously, getting traded halfway through the year is always tough. You’ve got to come meet new faces, new teammates, players you’ve played against but don’t know on a personal level.
“The front office welcomed me, every single teammate in here has been beyond amazing. I was truly grateful to be a part of this and be a part of what went on.”
Machado then took to Instagram on Halloween and offered further high praise for the Dodgers organization and fanbase:
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I’d like to thank the Los Angeles Dodgers organization for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play for a World Series title. Wearing that iconic Dodger Blue everyday was truly an honor. To Doc, the coaching staff and the boys, it was a privilege going into battle with all of you! Something I’ll never forget!! Thank you to the Dodgers staff and front office for welcoming me and my wife with open arms from day one. To the Dodger Faithful and Pantone 294, you guys are amazing! 50,000 strong, bleeding Dodger Blue night in and night out. Thank you for making my experience as a Dodger, one I will cherish forever. I know we didn’t achieve our goal of bringing a championship back to Chavez Ravine, but there is no doubt in my mind that with this group of guys a World Series Title is on the horizon. Gracias por hacerme sentir como en casa. El Ministro
In the immediate wake of losing Game 5, a dejected Machado was hesitant to answering any questions about his free agency and longterm future with the Dodgers. “I can’t even think about that,” he said.
“Honestly, I can’t even answer that question. I’m hurt right now. We just lost in the World Series.”
While the Dodgers yielded five players to acquire Machado in July, the league-wide consensus is that the talented shortstop was strictly a rental for Los Angeles and that he will sign elsewhere this offseason.
Machado headlines a stacked free agent class and is slated to sign one of the most lucrative contracts in MLB history, with his biggest challenger for the recognition being Bryce Harper.