The interleague portion of the Orioles schedule after the break doesn’t include the Dodgers. If you want to see Manny Machado, you’ll need to head out West. Or make the drive to Philadelphia for the three-game series that begins on Monday.
There’s no “Hug Watch” today because Machado isn’t with his Orioles teammates, but everyone is braced for the trade with the Dodgers to be finalized.
I was told late last night that the deal wasn’t “done,” but it’s obviously close enough that there could be official word this afternoon. It’s highly unlikely that it drags until the end of the week. Maybe a few I’s need to be dotted, T’s need to be crossed. More medical reviews.
The All-Star Game was a complication. It created a unique situation.
New York Post columnist Joel Sherman and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported last night that the Orioles could be getting back as many as five prospects from the Dodgers.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported earlier that the players coming back to the Orioles would be from the minor league system. No one on the Dodgers’ 25-man roster, which contradicted an earlier report that infielder Logan Forsythe was part of the package to provide some salary relief.
The amount of misinformation this week alone has been pretty impressive. A handshake agreement with the Phillies? That was news to the Orioles and Phillies.
Machado walked off the field last night, came out of the game for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth inning and still didn’t have confirmation of the trade.
“I’m trying to enjoy this off-day tomorrow,” he told FOX Sports. “I don’t know if I’m going to get a call or not. As of now, I haven’t heard anything.”
Machado again expressed his gratitude to the Orioles for allowing him to go back to his favorite position after J.J. Hardy left.
“They gave me the opportunity to come and play shortstop again,” he said. “If this is the last time, hopefully I treated them well and did everything I can for the organization.”
People keep asking me who’s going to play shortstop after Machado is gone. And I keep turning to Tim Beckham because it seems like the Orioles have more options at third base among players on the current roster. And they’re hoping to get back Steve Wilkerson next month.
A deal with the Phillies could have brought a shortstop in return. J.P. Crawford’s name kept coming up. The Orioles, again assuming that nothing has changed, are getting outfielder Yusniel Díaz from the Dodgers and at least one pitcher, with Dustin May’s name surfacing late last night after earlier resistance from Los Angeles.
NBC LA cited sources as saying the deal is “believed” to include Double-A shortstop Errol Robinson, a former sixth-round pick from the University of Mississippi. I ran the three names past someone last night and was told again that any reports of the deal being done were “wrong.”
Spending parts of the last few days with Machado confirmed just how much he’s going to miss Baltimore. The losing this year didn’t sour him on the team or the city. His emotions are jumbled. Excited to be in a pennant race, sad to leave behind so many friends and the only organization that he’s known.
Machado stated a few times that he’s not good with new names and faces. He’s moving outside of his comfort zone. But he’s also moving to an organization that’s giving him a shot at the World Series and he already was making friends this week.
Jonathan Schoop will always be his bestie, but he seemed to be getting along just fine with Matt Kemp.
George Springer, who homered in the 10th inning last night in the American League’s 8-6 win over the National League, said Machado didn’t talk much about the trade rumors.
“He was here to kind of enjoy himself and enjoy the game,” Springer said. “All that stuff is his business and he understands it.”
Machado embraced former teammate Nick Markakis on his way out of the ballpark. I’m guessing that the trade came up.
“I enjoyed my time playing with him,” Markakis told reporters. “He was a great teammate, great dude, and whatever happens with him after the break, I wish him well.”
Closer Zach Britton won’t be packaged with Machado, but he’s also going to be on the move. It could happen quickly with the building interest in him.