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Manny Machado bristles at trade rumors

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Manny Machado is, quite clearly, the most highly sought-after player as we approach the trade deadline. Baltimore is not going anywhere and they are not going to sign him long term, so the market is wide open. Several teams, including the Yankees, Dodgers and Brewers have been reported as having interest and it seems only a matter of time before he’s dealt.

The Yankees have been reported to be the most interested in recent days, with several reports flying about the O’s and the Bombers discussing a trade for Machado. The issue there, however, is that the Yankees have a fine shortstop in Didi Gregorius, so if they got Machado they’d likely want him to return to third base, where he played for most of his career.

Machado was asked about that, and the larger idea of being traded, after last night’s doubleheader against the Yankees. He bristled. From Ken Rosenthal:

“Talk to me about the game; talk to me about something useful. Not about rumors. … I don’t talk rumors. I play baseball. We got our ass kicked today. Won the first game, lost the second game. I talk baseball. I’ll talk baseball all you want . . . I’m a shortstop,” Machado said. “I play shortstop.”

That sounds much more like Machado simply not wanting to answer questions about being traded than some definitive stance about where he’ll play for the final two to three months of the season. Based on how hard he lobbied and worked to get the Orioles to move him back to his original position this past offseason, however, it’s likely the case that he truly does want to stick at short and not be moved. It’s worth noting too that he’ll be a free agent this offseason and he’ll have more value if teams see him as a shortstop rather than a third baseman. Finishing strong, on a playoff team, while playing shortstop will do him a lot better in that regard.

Obviously if the Yankees do trade for him and if they do move him to third, he’ll be asked about it again. I suspect if that happens he’ll have a far more nuanced and diplomatic answer.

Dodgers acquire Manny Machado from Orioles for five minor leaguers

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The Orioles and Dodgers finally completed the trade involving Manny Machado, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. The Orioles will receive five prospects from the Dodgers: Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop, Rylan Bannon, and Breyvic Valera.

Machado, 26, is in the final year of his contract, so this is currently a rental for the first-place Dodgers. Machado ended the first half batting .315/.387/.575 with 24 home runs, 65 RBI, 48 runs scored, and eight stolen bases in 413 plate appearances. In Los Angeles, he will handle shortstop, allowing Chris Taylor to move over to second base.

MLB Pipeline rated Diaz as the Dodgers’ No. 4 prospect and No. 84 across baseball. Kremer was No. 27 in the Dodgers’ system and Bannon was No. 28.

Diaz, 21, is considered the centerpiece of the trade. The outfielder hit .314/.428/.477 with 20 extra-base hits, 30 RBI, and 36 runs scored in 264 plate appearances at Double-A Tulsa this season.

Kremer, 22, was selected by the Dodgers in the 14th round of the 2016 draft. He spent most of his season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga before earning a promotion to Tulsa earlier this month. Overall, in 17 starts, the right-hander posted a 3.03 ERA with a 125/29 K/BB ratio in 86 innings.

Pop, 21, was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2017 draft. He has spent his season between Rancho Cucamonga and Single-A Great Lakes. Overall, he compiled a 1.04 ERA with 47 strikeouts and 13 walks in 43 1/3 innings of relief.

Bannon, 22, was selected by the Dodgers in the eighth round of the 2017 draft. With Rancho Cucamonga this season, the infielder batted .296/.402/.559 with 20 home runs and 61 RBI in 403 PA.

Valera, 26, has appeared in 20 games at the major league level for the Dodgers this season, batting a meager .172 with a .445 OPS in 34 PA. Valera has versatility, having played second base, third base, and corner outfield this year while also having experience in center field, shortstop, and first base.