The Baltimore Orioles this evening will open up a three-game set out on the west coast against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – known by my generation as the California Angels. In past years the O’s have mostly gotten their entire west coast swing out in one fatal swoop. However they’ll return to the Pacific Time Zone in early September to visit Seattle.
However the big news out of Los Angeles overnight regarded the Angels’ crosstown rival – the Los Angeles Dodgers placed SS Corey Seager on the DL, pending Tommy John surgery. Seager will miss the rest of the season, and perhaps the beginning of next year. Often times guys can be out for the better part of a year after having that procedure.
The Orioles of course have a shortstop in Manny Machado, who’s been the speculation of trade rumors here and there. And the fact that the Orioles have started slowly this year have fueled speculation that the team could deal Machado and others. So with Seager on ice, would the boys in Dodger Blue be a good trade partner for the Orioles?
The answer to that question is unmistakably YES. The Los Angeles Dodgers in fact have a fairly deep farm system, chock full of prospects that would interest any team. Gifts don’t fall in your lap very often, especially when you’re the Orioles. So I would submit that the O’s should take advantage of this and call the Dodgers if they already haven’t spoken.
In using the term gift, I literally mean a gift. The conventional wisdom is that a trade partner may not want to give up too much for a guy like Machado who in essence would be a rental. But the Dodgers literally have a need, and that need is RIGHT NOW. And it’ll be for the remainder of the season. That’s a variable that no other team in the league can match. And odds are it’ll drive the price for Machado back up to what the Orioles might expect.
The Dodgers’ farm system is deep with pitching, which as we know is something of which you can never have too much. Their top prospect is a 23-year old RHP named Walker Buehler, who’s posted a 3.35 ERA following Tommy John surgery, and who can get his fastball up to the 98-100 MPH range. They also have prospects who look to be solid big league starters named Mitchell White, and Yadier Alvarez – one of whom could be in play in trade conversations as well.
The idea of trading Machado has never been about buying or selling in terms of this year. It’s always been about getting someone for a guy who’s contract’s expiring. Trading Machado wouldn’t be punting the season – per se. It would be re-loading the organization with talent that could help them down the line.
So I’m saying that this needs to happen. As early perhaps as today. Los Angeles is a team that’s been rumored to be in on the Machado sweepstakes anyways – if he isn’t going to stay in Baltimore, the Orioles I’m sure would be interested in him landing outside of the AL East. Chavez Ravine would be an ideal spot.
Of course for the Orioles that would mean a bit of re-shuffling players in the immediate interim. I think that Pedro Alvarez has been playing a solid enough third base to warrant keeping him there for now. When he returns from injury, Tim Beckham could slide right back into the SS spot, which is much more natural to him than third base. The Orioles also have Ruben Tejada at Norfolk who they could call up to play shortstop for the time being. Not to mention Jace Peterson. And going back to the hot corner for a moment, don’t forget about Chris Davis, who plays a solid third base as well.
So the Orioles have some options. This almost makes too much sense not to do if you’re them. Would those set-ups totally replace Machado? Of course not – he’s too great a player to replace totally. But could they get away with that type of set-up? Yes. While the Dodgers are in Arizona starting tonight, the fact that the Orioles are in Anaheim would make this an easy transition for all as well.