The Los Angeles Dodgers are currently the front-runners to acquire Baltimore Orioles shortstop Manny Machado.
According to FOX Sports reporter and MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal, a Machado trade to Los Angeles is close to happening:
Dodgers’ prospect Yusniel Diaz is the reported centerpiece of the trade:
During the 89th annual MLB All-Star Game in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, Machado was interviewed about his “next step,” alluding to the trade rumors that have surrounded the star shortstop for months.
Machado brushed off the question, answering Rosenthal by saying he is just going to “enjoy the off day” tomorrow:
After an inauspicious 16-26 start where nothing seemed to go right, the Dodgers have since turned things around and were one of the hottest teams in baseball entering the July break; Los Angeles now sits at 53-43, a half-game in front of the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the National League West.
The Dodgers’ lineup continues to be full of surprises, as Matt Kemp’s All-Star resurgence, and Max Muncy’s breakout first half (22 home runs) contributed to the offense getting back on track. Despite their performances, Los Angeles was in desperate need of another bat to round out the lineup. Enter Machado…
Presumably, Machado, who has been vocally adamant about remaining at shortstop in the past, slides in as the Dodgers’ everyday starting shortstop, replacing Chris Taylor. Taylor could then be utilized elsewhere, primarily second base and center field, where Logan Forsythe, Joc Pederson and Enrique Hernandez could enter platoon situations respectively.
Here is how the Dodgers lineup would look with Machado in the fold:
C: Yasmani Grandal
1B: Cody Bellinger
2B: Chris Taylor/Logan Forsythe
SS: Manny Machado
3B: Justin Turner
LF: Matt Kemp
CF: Chris Taylor/Joc Pederson/Enrique Hernandez
RF: Yasiel Puig
The closest player the Dodgers have to a traditional leadoff hitter is Taylor, who also provides solid speed on the base paths and defense. Machado is currently hitting .315, which would lead the Dodgers.
As a righty bat, Machado would fit nicely hitting No. 2, as the Dodgers could then put the lefty Bellinger between him and Kemp. He gives Los Angeles a desperately needed righty bat to replace starting shortstop Corey Seager, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on May 12.
Forsythe is the most likely player to lose his everyday job with Machado in Hollywood, assuming he isn’t included in the reported trade.
Source: Heavy Sports