With the NBA off season taking so many headlines in recent weeks, a very big MLB headline went a little bit unnoticed. The long talked about trade of Manny Machado went down after the MLB All-Star Game, sending him from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers, who struggled out of the gate, but have closed the gap dramatically and are now huge favorites due to Machado in the NL West, got a great showing from the shortstop on his first night for them.
Machado, one of the few five-tool players in the game, is already paying dividends for the Dodgers. On Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers, one of the best teams in the National League currently, he would reach bases four of five times. He went 2 for 3 officially, as the Dodgers would win 6-4 on the night. To go along with his two singles, he had two walks. He was placed in the #2 hole in the lineup, and this shows why he will be very effective there if he remains. He will get on base for you, and he has the power as well to punish pitchers if they fall behind in the count to him.
Speaking after the game, you could really tell that Machado is a relieved man. So much talk had centered around him for weeks and even months about where he would go. At one time or another, he was tipped to join any number of contending teams, including the Yankees, Red Sox, and Cubs. Even the Brewers were believed to have been interested in his services, and perhaps at this moment they are the ones that are regretting making a move for him.
With Machado now on their roster, the Dodgers are big favorites to win the NL West. They had what looked to be little to no chance after April, but the inability of the other teams in the division to put them away has allowed them to stay around. Now with Machado there to shore them up, they should be expected to not only win the division handily but also to make another deep run in the playoffs. If they don’t, it will be seen as a massive disappointment after giving up so many prospects for a lease on Machado, who may or may not return next season.