The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the Manny Machado sweepstakes, garnering the prized All-Star shortstop from the Baltimore Orioles in a trade Wednesday night.
A person with knowledge of the deal confirmed the trade to The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been announced.
Machado, a power-hitter with extraordinary fielding skills, greatly improves the Dodgers’ chances of reaching the World Series for a second consecutive year. He led Baltimore in batting average (.315), home runs (24) and RBIs (65).
Machado’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the last-place Orioles decided against negotiating an expensive, multi-year extension because they have too many holes as the team moves into a rebuilding mode.
Though only a summer rental, Machado was coveted by a variety of contenders, including Philadelphia, Milwaukee, the Chicago Cubs and Arizona, currently a half-game behind the first-place Dodgers in the NL West.
Los Angeles gets a four-time AL All-Star with two Gold Gloves who has 129 homers over the last 3½ seasons. Machado was drafted third overall by the Orioles in 2010, made his big league debut in 2012 and spent his entire major league career in Baltimore.
The Dodgers are filling a gaping hole at shortstop created by the loss of Corey Seager, who underwent elbow surgery in May.
And Machado moves from a cellar-dweller to a division-leading club in the middle of a pennant race. Not only that, but Machado likely gets to stay at shortstop, the position he manned this year after previously playing third base for Baltimore.
“I love playing short. I mean, I love it,” Machado said last week. “I’m more excited playing shortstop than I’ve ever been. I’m more into the game. This is where I’ve always wanted to be, this is what brings the best player out of me.”