Let the official record show that Manny Machado started and played in last night’s MLB All-Star Game as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. This of course amid speculation that Machado is on his way out of Baltimore, the suitor du jour being the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yesterday I wrote that he appeared earmarked for Philadelphia – because that’s what the tea leaves were saying at the time. But when people have asked me since the beginning of the season, I’ve always said I thought he’d end up in Dodger Blue. Call it a hunch.
Machado went 0-for-2 in the game at the plate before being lifted. The American League ended up winning 8-6, in an All-Star Game that set a record with ten homers. There were also 25 strikeouts in the game. Both of those numbers are largely indicative of where the game is and where it’s continually going right now. Incidentally, the game also went extra innings, finishing just before midnight after ten innings.
It’s been reported that Los Angeles Dodger prospects Yusniel Diaz, Errol Robinson, and possibly others are in play to be coming back to the Orioles. Diaz specifically has been referred to as an absolute stud by numerous people. He was in D.C. on Sunday playing in the future’s game, and he smacked two home runs.
Diaz is also a right fielder, which is a position that the Orioles have struggled to fill since Markakis departed. Robinson is an infielder who’s currently in single-A, but is showing some promise. Not that it matters, but he’s also a Maryland native. Maybe that vouches for something.
The fan reaction on twitter among other media is one of sorrow. And I suppose I understand that to a certain degree. Nobody wants to part with a talent like Manny Machado. But fans should also keep in mind that it sounds like the Orioles are having the opportunity to hand-pick from Los Angeles’ farm system. This trade could very easily work out well for the Orioles down the road.
I think that the way you have to look at it is that Baltimore (perhaps more so than any other city) really embraces it’s athletes. That’s why it’s so tough to see Machado go, because he has rapport with the fans and the city. But he’s not “walking,” per se. The Birds are getting something – a lot, actually – back for him. The next generation of Baltimore stars to be embraced may well come in this deal.
Diaz appears to be the centerpiece of the deal from the Orioles’ perspective, but I’ve heard that as many as five prospects total may head to the Orioles. If that’s true, they will have all but gutted Los Angeles’ farm system. But we’ll just have to wait and see.
What’s also unclear is whether or not any of the players would make an impact at the big league level right away. Diaz might have a shot at being brought up immediately, but odds are the rest of the players will need more seasoning – perhaps even Diaz. But ultimately time will tell.