Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager is done for the season because of an elbow injury that requires Tommy John surgery.
Does that mean that the Dodgers will be calling the Orioles about shortstop Manny Machado, who is eligible for free agency after the season?
Like the Orioles, the Dodgers are off to a slow start. The Dodgers’ problems are many. They have a thin bullpen and closer Kenley Jansen hasn’t dominating.
Their starting pitching is thin. Pitcher Rich Hill, third baseman Justin Turner and outfielder Yasiel Puig are on the disabled list.
And manager Dave Roberts tried to jolt his club out of its sleepiness by benching Cody Bellinger for lack of hustle.
So what do the Dodgers do?
After not winning the World Series since 1988, and losing last season to Houston, they can’t give up on the season.
That’s good news for the Orioles, if they are interested in trading Machado before Memorial Day.
Trades of this magnitude are rare this early because teams don’t want to send a message that they are giving up on the season.
The bad news for the Orioles is that the Dodgers have so many needs, trading prospects for a one-year rental might not be the answer.
It’s too risky, especially since Seager, one of their franchise players, will be coming back in a year and Turner is signed long-term as the Dodgers’ third baseman. And they are going to have to spend big dollars to retain pitcher Clayton Kershaw.
With Seager, an MVP-type player, and Turner, Machado wouldn’t have a position with the Dodgers.
For now, the Dodgers are going to use Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández at shortstop, meaning that light-hitting Joc Pederson will play center for Taylor.
Another option for the Dodgers would be to trade for a lesser-name shortstop - maybe Tampa Bay’s Adeiny Hechavarria, Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar or Detroit’s José Iglesias.
Then the Dodgers would have the ability to acquire pitching as the deadline approaches.
The Orioles listened to offers for Machado at the Winter Meetings and didn’t like any of the potential deals.
Contending teams already have stability at third and short. The general consensus was that an injury could change that.
We’ll see now if that rings true with the Dodgers.