Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Dodgers land Machado in blockbuster with O's

Four-time All-Star heading to Los Angeles for 5 prospects
MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Ten years ago, the Dodgers traded for Manny and it was epic. On Wednesday, they did it again.

If new Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado can make a fraction of the breathtaking impact Manny Ramirez made after his 2008 acquisition, it will be worth the five Minor Leaguers the Dodgers sent to Baltimore on Wednesday for the 26-year-old, who, like Ramirez in 2008, is a rental eligible for free agency after the season.

LOS ANGELES -- Ten years ago, the Dodgers traded for Manny and it was epic. On Wednesday, they did it again.

If new Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado can make a fraction of the breathtaking impact Manny Ramirez made after his 2008 acquisition, it will be worth the five Minor Leaguers the Dodgers sent to Baltimore on Wednesday for the 26-year-old, who, like Ramirez in 2008, is a rental eligible for free agency after the season.

"We're in first place by the slimmest of margins [half-game] and four teams are within a few games," general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Dodgers station AM 570. "We felt improving the team in this period was imperative and we think Manny Machado is the best target out there."

Video: MLB Tonight on Machado heading to the Dodgers

After a Wednesday delay necessitated by physical exams, trading for Machado cost the Dodgers only one of their top prospects: Cuban outfielder Yusniel Diaz. In addition, Baltimore received right-handed pitchers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, third baseman Rylan Bannon and infielder Breyvic Valera. Diaz is the club's No. 4 prospect and No. 84 in MLB, according to MLB Pipeline. Kremer is No. 27 and Bannon No. 28 in the organization.

Baltimore hopes the deal can be transformative, offering both quality and depth to a system in need of both.

The 21-year-old Diaz is the centerpiece for the Orioles, and the Dodgers spent $31 million in bonus and taxes to sign him out of Cuba. Two homers in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game showed that his one lagging tool, power, is not so lagging.

Video: WLD@USA: Diaz clobbers 2-run jack, game-tying HR

The 22-year-old Bannon is hitting .296 with a .961 OPS at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga and is a plus defensive third baseman. The 22-year-old Kremer was just promoted to Double-A after striking out 114 in 79 innings at Rancho Cucamonga. Pop, a seventh-rounder last year from Kentucky, was recently promoted to Double-A after dominating at two Class A clubs. Valera has had three big league cameos with the Dodgers and his departure clears a 40-man roster spot for Machado.

The trade is the latest reaffirmation by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman's front office of a commitment to land the franchise's first World Series ring since 1988.

"It's a means to an end," said Zaidi, saying this was no time for a victory lap. "We're trying to win a World Series every year, but this year in particular. We think it's a big stepping-stone to get to that point."

Machado once hit HR almost out of Dodger Stadium

It also demonstrated the organization's deep development system, from which a package was offered that outbid rivals such as Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona and the Yankees. Once again, the Dodgers didn't even need to go all in, retaining their top three prospects as rated by MLB Pipeline -- Alex Verdugo, Keibert Ruiz and Mitchell White.

Zaidi said negotiations have been ongoing for a month.

"Over the past week, the Orioles seemed intent on making it happen over the All-Star break. We stepped up and made sure our offer was something that would get them to act sooner rather than wait until July 31."

Zaidi said the Dodgers will continue to monitor available pitchers, primarily relievers, leading up to the non-waiver Trade Deadline at the end of the month. The Dodgers are determined to remain under the competitive tax threshold and just moved $6.3 million closer with the remainder of Machado's 2018 contract.

Tweet from @court_with_a_K: Just when you thought you could get away from baseball for the ASB.. @redturn2 @Awood45 pic.twitter.com/Bi3VBY3Oho

Machado just played in his fourth All-Star Game as the AL's starting shortstop and is a two-time Gold Glove third baseman with three top-10 finishes for Most Valuable Player. He is batting .315 with a .963 OPS, 24 homers and 65 RBIs. He's had three seasons with at least 33 home runs and is seeking his first 100-RBI campaign.

Machado is expected to take over at shortstop, displacing Chris Taylor, who moved in from center field after All-Star shortstop Corey Seager was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery. Seager is expected back for 2019, lessening (but not eliminating) the chances Machado would remain in L.A., as Ramirez did.

Because Machado was acquired during the season, the Dodgers will not be able to give him a qualifying offer this winter, which means they will not be able to recoup Draft-pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. Bryce Harper, who is assumed to be Machado's competition as the best player on this winter's market, will almost certainly get a qualifying offer from the Nationals, which means any teams that signs him other than Washington will give up a high Draft pick, and this might make Machado slightly more appealing to some suitors.

Video: Rosenthal on Machado's position with the Dodgers

Zaidi said Machado could see some time at third base. Although Taylor has not matched his offensive breakthrough from last year, he can slide over to second base and be an upgrade from Logan Forsythe and Chase Utley.

T-Mobile Home Run Derby slugger Max Muncy can play first base when he's not subbing at third for Justin Turner, while Cody Bellinger can play center field when he's not playing first base.

Enrique Hernandez, who has 16 home runs but no set position, can continue to spot start all over the place.

Pending manager Dave Roberts' lineup when play resumes in Milwaukee on Friday night, Machado could bat third or second (Seager's spot) in the batting order. Machado has hit third for the Orioles most of this season. Either way, he lengthens a lineup that has slugged its way to first place even with little pop from Turner, who hasn't been the same force since returning from a fractured left wrist.

If Machado isn't a defensive upgrade, neither was Ramirez, but he made the lineup lethal and Machado is capable of the same, joining an offense that already has eight hitters with 10 or more homers.

This is the fourth straight July in which the Dodgers have made a major trade, and the third straight in which those deals were for half-season rentals.

To get Yu Darvish last summer, the Dodgers dealt No. 4 prospect Willie Calhoun, No. 17 pitcher A.J. Alexy and No. 27 infielder Brendon Davis. To get Rich Hill and Josh Reddick in 2016, the Dodgers traded No. 5 prospect Grant Holmes, No. 8 Frankie Montas and No. 13 Jharel Cotton, all pitchers. In the 2015 13-player, four-team Alex Wood trade, the Dodgers traded away Hector Olivera (unranked because of age, but signed for $62.5 million) and No. 13 Zack Bird.

This is the Dodgers' most significant trade with Baltimore since they acquired Eddie Murray after the 1988 season.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado

Trade Deadline strategies for all 30 teams

MLB.com

All great things start with a solid foundation. Now that we're halfway through the season, and the groundwork is set, buyers, sellers and hopefuls are coming into focus ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Teams are assembling hard-throwing, hot-hitting armies in a merciless push toward postseason contention. And we have you covered -- delivering blueprints and midterm reports for all Major League Baseball teams -- before flipping the page from July to August.

Here is MLB.com's projected Trade Deadline strategy for every MLB team.

All great things start with a solid foundation. Now that we're halfway through the season, and the groundwork is set, buyers, sellers and hopefuls are coming into focus ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Teams are assembling hard-throwing, hot-hitting armies in a merciless push toward postseason contention. And we have you covered -- delivering blueprints and midterm reports for all Major League Baseball teams -- before flipping the page from July to August.

Here is MLB.com's projected Trade Deadline strategy for every MLB team.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: After beginning the 2018 campaign with great promise, Toronto entered the All-Star break with a 43-52 record. The Blue Jays are expected to sell at the Trade Deadline in hopes of acquiring prospects to match the next wave of talent, re: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. More >

Orioles: Now that they've traded Manny Machado to the Dodgers for five prospects, closer Zach Britton is also a big piece who could be moved before the Deadline. More >

Rays: Tampa Bay put the naysayers to rest when an innovative strategy of using relievers to start bullpen days brought winning results. Will it lead the Rays to postseason contention? More >

Red Sox: Boston is living in its glory days, showcasing a bullish first-half performance with few shortcomings. How will its president of baseball operations look to make a potent team even stronger? More >

Video: Martinez talks about Red Sox's success this season

Yankees: The Yankees are performing just as we predicted, using a star-studded lineup to boast MLB's best home run total. Despite that, they head into the second half as MLB's second-best team (62-33), focused on starting pitching. More >

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Deja vu, as the Indians sit atop the AL Central, poised once again to make a push for a World Series title. Will they swing an impact arm to boost their bullpen? More >

Royals: Kansas City is one of a handful of teams in its early stages of rebuilding, aiming to restock its Minor League system with top prospects. More >

Tigers: Detroit took a ride on an emotional roller coaster, overperforming to start the season, then falling victim to the injury bug. The Tigers seek young hitters at the Trade Deadline, but what do they have to offer? More >

Twins: The brewing returns of two key players in Ervin Santana and Byron Buxton make the Twins seller-avoidant, but that depends on how well they do out of the gate in the second half. More >

White Sox: The South Siders are sticking to the approach of maintaining talent development. How will All-Star Jose Abreu and veteran James Shields play into their Trade Deadline outlook? More >

Video: KC@CWS: Renteria on Shields' outing, Abreu's offense

AL WEST

A's: This young core of A's is a hot topic in the postseason conversation, pushing Oakland to be buyers. For an October run, the club seeks affordable arms to complement its bold flair. More >

Angels: The Halos may have no choice but to part with their hard-earned offseason assets in order to save a highly anticipated, and consistently delayed, postseason run for another year. More >

Astros: The reigning World Series champs have lived up to their hype so well that they don't have enough weaknesses to warrant losing prospects for a major pickup. Unless they want to be greedy. More >

Video: Must C Clutch: Astros go back-to-back in 10th

Mariners: Seattle finally has the assets to end MLB's longest playoff drought. But will the impending return of Robinson Cano, and the position he'll patrol, be a cause for concern? More >

Rangers: The Rangers, as sellers, will look for structure to their pitching staff, becoming the latest team to throw their hat into the rebuilding ring. More >

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Already a threat in the NL East, the Braves are one key upgrade away from making a legitimate postseason run. Can Atlanta's offer of high-quality prospects provide the support it needs? More >

Marlins: The Fish still have plenty of work to be done before the fog clears in their ongoing rebuild under a Derek Jeter-owned franchise. Which players are they willing to bestow? More >

Mets: The Mets -- continually plagued by injuries -- seesaw between contending in 2019 and dumping their current roster for a full-fledged rebuild. Will a former trade partner supply the missing pieces? More >

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

Nationals: The preseason favorite looks like it is in position to make a run for October; the Nats enter the second half with high aspirations. More >

Phillies: The Phils open the second-half in first place in the NL East, and they're so close to being complete that the club is homing in on definitive reinforcements. More >

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: A revamped roster led Milwaukee to set a franchise record number of wins (55) before the All-Star break. What are the Brewers seeking to sustain their success? More >

Cardinals: As evidenced by replacing managers midseason, the Cards are committed to making a final push for the postseason. Now, St. Louis hangs in the balance of buying or selling before the Trade Deadline. More >

Cubs: The two-time defending division champs are competing without the phenomenal pitching staff they expected. Will they make another blockbuster move, or a series of acquisitions, before time is up? More >

Pirates: The Bucs' Trade Deadline plans depend on how well they perform at the start of their second act. If they pick up where they left off -- winning eight of their past nine contests -- Pittsburgh could make a run for it. More >

Video: Pirates sweep 5-game series against the Brewers

Reds: Cincinnati painted a pleasant picture of what's to come in 2019. A key trade chip in Matt Harvey will boost its chances of acquiring younger starting pitchers. More >

NL WEST

D-backs: The D-backs amplified last season's postseason berth with another strong run for contention. Strong arms in both the rotation and bullpen involve their Trade Deadline decisions, as headliners A.J. Pollock, Patrick Corbin and Paul Goldschmidt near free agency. More > 

Dodgers: Even after acquiring Machado, they'll still be buyers. But with the payroll maxed out, it's time for bargain shopping. More >

Giants: Time and time again, San Francisco has proven to be a buyer at the Trade Deadline. The Giants' possession of a formidable bat off the bench could be a possible trade chip for interested teams. More >

Padres: No shot at contending in 2018 and a stacked farm system leaves the Padres with many questions nearing the Trade Deadline. One: Which pieces can San Diego acquire to become a part of its future? More >

Rockies: The Rockies made a major statement, winning 13 out of their 16 final first-half games. Will Colorado benefit by holding or buying at the Trade Deadline? More >

Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

MLB

7 most likely to be traded and where they'll go

Machado deal may be a catalyst to a busy couple of weeks
MLB.com @RichardJustice

Manny Machado's trade from the Orioles to the Dodgers means that we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. He wasn't holding up every other potential trade, but let's just say a lot of general managers signed off a lot of telephone calls with: "We should touch base after this Machado thing is resolved."

Now it's settled, and with 13 days until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, other dominos could fall quickly as teams position themselves for a sprint to the finish line.

Manny Machado's trade from the Orioles to the Dodgers means that we can return to our regularly scheduled programming. He wasn't holding up every other potential trade, but let's just say a lot of general managers signed off a lot of telephone calls with: "We should touch base after this Machado thing is resolved."

Now it's settled, and with 13 days until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, other dominos could fall quickly as teams position themselves for a sprint to the finish line.

Seventeen of 30 teams are within 5 1/2 games of a postseason spot as baseball comes out of the All-Star break on Thursday night with a Cardinals-Cubs game at Wrigley Field.

Here are seven players who could suddenly become hot commodities in the post-Machado trade discussions:

1. Zach Britton, Orioles closer

The Orioles should have gotten the hang of things by now after listening to offers for Machado and Britton for the last 12 months. Even the teams bidding for Machado could turn their attention to Britton because he could upgrade every contender. He has looked more and more comfortable since returning from the disabled list on June 12. The impending free agent begins the second half having made seven straight scoreless appearances.

2018 salary: $12 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Astros
Keep an eye on: Red Sox, Mariners, Indians, Brewers, Braves

Video: TEX@BAL: Britton K's Gallo to record the save

2. Whit Merrifield, Royals super utility

OK, the Royals do not want to trade him. Because he won't reach the open market until after the 2022 season, they'll only do it if an offer overwhelms them, which is probably what's going to happen. That's the value of someone with an .812 OPS and the ability to play anywhere on the diamond.

2018 salary: $570,000
Contract status: Under team control for four more seasons
Front-runner: Phillies
Keep an eye on: Brewers, Giants, Indians, Braves

Video: Merrifield's 5-hit game highlights his strong week

3. Mike Moustakas, Royals third baseman

He played in 31 postseason games for the Royals in 2014-15 and may flourish if a trade puts him back on a contender. With the Royals having two highly regarded trade chips, look for GM Dayton Moore to play the market for max value.

2018 Salary: $6.5 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Braves
Keep an eye on: Yankees, Red Sox, Nationals

Video: KC@MIN: Moustakas belts a solo homer to right field

4. J.A. Happ, Blue Jays starting pitcher

He's an experienced veteran left-hander in the final year of his contract and is possibly the best available starting pitcher. He also has had a tough couple of weeks, which will not help his value. But the demand for starting pitching should make him easy to move.

2018 salary: $13 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Mariners
Keep an eye on: Yankees, Nationals, Brewers

Video: 2018 ASG: Happ retires Cain to secure the AL's win

5. Nathan Eovaldi, Rays starting pitcher

In nine starts since returning from Tommy John surgery, his performances have ranged from excellent to tough. He allowed eight runs in 2 2/3 innings in his last start before the All-Star break, but in three outings before that, he'd allowed two earned runs in 19 innings. Given the market, he should be an easy match with a contender. 

2018 salary: $2 million
Contract status: Free agent after this season
Front-runner: Giants
Keep an eye on: Yankees

Video: TB@NYM: Eovaldi adds 7th K to close 4 perfect innings

6. Craig Stammen, Padres reliever

GM A.J. Preller holds a couple of nice chips in a pitching-starved market. Stammen has value, not as a closer, but as a multi-inning reliever who can deepen any bullpen. He's not having his best month, but plenty of teams like him. 

2018 salary: $2.25 million
Contract status: Signed through 2019 season
Front-runner: Braves
Keep an eye on: Yankees, Mariners

Video: CHC@SD: Stammen K's Schwarber, the side in 7th inning

7. Brad Hand, Padres closer

Preller has been listening to offers for his lefty closer for more than a year and has not heard anything he likes. Because Hand is signed through 2021 and because he has a 2.66 ERA the last three seasons, the price will not be cheap.

2018 salary: $4.1 million
Contract status: $7.083 million in 2019, $7.583 million in 2020, $10 million team option for 2021
Front-runner: Red Sox
Keep an eye on: Mariners, Brewers, Braves

Video: 2018 ASG: Hand strikes out Gomes swinging in the 8th

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Zach Britton, Nathan Eovaldi, Brad Hand, J.A. Happ, Whit Merrifield, Mike Moustakas, Craig Stammen

Watch Turner, Wood react to Manny deal

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand and MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal have confirmed that Manny Machado is heading to the Dodgers in a prospect-heavy deal. Machado is a very good player and, like another Manny traded to La La Land years ago, should help bolster a team already poised for a stretch run.

Dodgers fans are likely pumped for the news, but they're not the only ones: Current Dodger players were also thrilled. Check out Justin Turner and Alex Wood receive the news in real-time while chilling on a boat together.

The best players ever traded in July

Machado among top players moved by non-waiver Trade Deadline
MLB.com @mike_petriello

Longtime Orioles star Manny Machado has been traded to the Dodgers, with whom he will step in for the injured Corey Seager at shortstop, likely pushing Chris Taylor to the outfield or second base. With a .315/.387/.575 line, Machado has been baseball's eighth-best hitter on a park-adjusted rate basis, just ahead of Aaron Judge and Freddie Freeman, and he's doing it while playing shortstop.

Machado is almost certainly the most valuable player being traded before this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline, barring an unexpected Jacob deGrom trade. He'll almost surely end up being the most valuable player traded in any of the past few Deadlines, really. (Justin Verlander was a post-Deadline trade last August.) That leads to the inevitable question: Have there actually been Deadline trades like this? When do we see stars at this level being moved?

Longtime Orioles star Manny Machado has been traded to the Dodgers, with whom he will step in for the injured Corey Seager at shortstop, likely pushing Chris Taylor to the outfield or second base. With a .315/.387/.575 line, Machado has been baseball's eighth-best hitter on a park-adjusted rate basis, just ahead of Aaron Judge and Freddie Freeman, and he's doing it while playing shortstop.

Machado is almost certainly the most valuable player being traded before this year's non-waiver Trade Deadline, barring an unexpected Jacob deGrom trade. He'll almost surely end up being the most valuable player traded in any of the past few Deadlines, really. (Justin Verlander was a post-Deadline trade last August.) That leads to the inevitable question: Have there actually been Deadline trades like this? When do we see stars at this level being moved?

The only good way to do this is to use Wins Above Replacement, an imperfect-but-good-enough metric that accounts for hitting, baserunning and fielding, and allows for comparisons across eras. For example, a 2-WAR player is always "league average." A 4-WAR player is All-Star level and 6-WAR players are superstars. Last year, per FanGraphs, Judge led the bigs with 8.2 WAR. Machado accrued 3.6 WAR in this season's first half, putting him in the Top 15. He's projected to end the year with 6.2 WAR, which would equal his total from his very good 2015 season.

(It's worth noting that Machado has managed to compile such value while playing a shortstop that hasn't been reviewed very well; by some metrics, he's been baseball's least effective defender at the position. Judge, who has nearly the same hitting line while playing a good defensive right field, has accumulated 4.7 WAR.)

Going back to 1986, which is when the Trade Deadline moved back from June 15 to July 31, how many times have we seen players this valuable traded in July? The answer: not often, especially among hitters.

This list includes some of the most impactful Deadline deals of the past three decades, and since there's not really a meaningful difference in tenths of a point of WAR, you could essentially look at this as four 7-WAR players at the top, and Machado in the group immediately following. Since the top three are pitchers, there's an argument to be made that Machado is the third-most-valuable hitter traded at the Deadline in the 30-plus years since it was moved.

Not all of these deals were created equally, of course, in part because we're showing full-season WAR, not WAR at the time of the trade. Let's group a few of the similar top ones together and see how many echo the Machado deal.

7.6 WAR -- Randy Johnson, 1998
7.3 WAR -- CC Sabathia, 2008

When you think about impactful Deadline trades for pitchers, you think about these two trades, made a decade apart. Johnson made 11 starts for Houston after being traded, and the Astros won 10 of them, as he whiffed 116 hitters and allowed only 12 runs. He was equally outstanding in two National League Division Series starts, though the Astros lost that set to the Padres; it's arguably the most dominant stretch of post-trade pitching we've ever seen.

Sabathia's story is similar. He was having a good-not-great season for Cleveland, then went to Milwaukee and found an entirely new level, completing seven of his 17 starts, throwing three shutouts and posting a 1.65 ERA, though he was hit hard in his lone postseason start. Both Johnson (to Arizona) and Sabathia (to the Yankees) left their new clubs the following offseason.

7.0 WAR -- Cliff Lee, 2010
6.3 WAR -- Cliff Lee, 2009

Let's lump these together, since Lee was traded three times in less than a year, twice in July, at the peak of his considerable powers. In 2009, he went from Cleveland to Philadelphia, which is how Carlos Carrasco ended up in Ohio, and he was pretty good on both sides, posting a 3.14 ERA with Cleveland and 3.39 ERA with Philly. But he was fantastic in October, putting up a 1.56 ERA in five starts as the Phillies reached the World Series.

Lee was dealt to Seattle that offseason for no one the Mariners would ever regret losing, then after a strong 13-start stretch with Seattle (2.34 ERA), he was sent to Texas for a package headlined by Justin Smoak. Lee wasn't quite as great for the Rangers (3.98 ERA), but he again excelled in the playoffs (2.78 ERA) as his team reached the World Series. Lee would re-sign with the Phillies that offseason.

6.5 WAR -- David Price, 2015
6.0 WAR -- David Price, 2014

Speaking of ace lefties traded two years in a row: Price went from Tampa Bay to Detroit in 2014, then from the Tigers to the Blue Jays in '15. Price was only OK as a Tiger in '14 (3.59 ERA, one good start in a losing American League Division Series), but he was exceptional as a Blue Jay down the stretch in '15, striking out 87 with a 2.30 ERA in 11 starts. He struggled in four starts that October, then departed for Boston.

Video: CLE@TOR: Price fans nine, holds Tribe to three runs

6.9 WAR -- Mark Teixeira, 2008
6.5 WAR -- Scott Rolen, 2002

Both of these star corner infielders turned it on after their trades, though there's going to be one significant difference here. Teixeira was traded two Deadlines in a row, so he'd only been with the Braves for about a year before he was sent to the Angels, where he hit a sensational .358/.449/.632 before hitting .467/.550/.467 in the ALDS; he'd sign with the Yankees after the year.

Rolen also had a fantastic post-trade run, hitting .278/.354/.561 and drilling a homer in the NLDS. The caveat here is that there was a lot more going on than a regular "rental trade," because he was eager to leave Philadelphia and had requested a trade.

6.1 WAR -- Randy Velarde, 1999
We honestly don't have a great explanation for this. The longtime utility player had a career .268/.344/.400 line headed into his age-36 season, when he put together a .317/.390/.455 line in 711 plate appearances. Velarde was traded from the fourth-place Angels to the second-place A's in July. It mostly didn't matter -- though he was even better for Oakland than he had been for Anaheim.

5.9 WAR -- Manny Ramirez, 2008
5.8 WAR -- Yoenis Cespedes, 2015

Finally, this pair of corner outfielders had enormous impacts on their new teams. Ramirez had long been a star with Cleveland and Boston, but he turned it on to an entirely new level with the Dodgers, hitting .396/.489/.743 down the stretch and a ludicrous .520/.667/1.080 in the postseason before entering free agency. (He'd later return to the Dodgers, but not until the following March.)

Video: LAD@NYM: Cespedes goes 3-for-5, drives in three runs

Cespedes cost the Mets Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa, but they surely don't regret it. He had hit 18 homers for Detroit in 102 games, then hit 17 for New York in just 57 games, helping to push the Mets into the postseason. (He cooled off in the playoffs, hitting just .222/.232/.352.) Like Ramirez, he was a free agent for several months before returning.

* * *

So what does this all mean for Machado and the Dodgers? The good news is that none of these high-level players went to a new team and failed to perform. Most of them did better, some wildly so, though there's got to be at least some concern over Machado's huge home/road splits. The point here is that you just don't see players of this caliber dealt in July very often; it happens, on average, about once every three years. When it does happen, the performance is almost always there. That is, of course, what the Dodgers are betting on.

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.

Manny Machado

5 teams on the 'buy or sell' bubble

MLB.com @jonmorosi

The distinction between non-waiver Trade Deadline buyers and sellers rarely has been sharper than it is this year.

Before the Mariners lost four straight to conclude the first half, the American League was on pace to have four teams finish with winning percentages of .600 or better for only the second time in the Modern Era (1977 was the other year, per STATS).

The distinction between non-waiver Trade Deadline buyers and sellers rarely has been sharper than it is this year.

Before the Mariners lost four straight to conclude the first half, the American League was on pace to have four teams finish with winning percentages of .600 or better for only the second time in the Modern Era (1977 was the other year, per STATS).

Meanwhile, the last-place Orioles have entertained trade offers on four-time All-Star Manny Machado for what seems like an eternity.

Still, indecision lingers for several teams in the middle. Here's a look at five front offices facing difficult choices as the sport gears up for the second half.

Athletics
Earlier this season, the A's appeared destined to trade prospective free agent Jed Lowrie and suddenly dominant closer Blake Treinen. Slugger Khris Davis was another candidate to be dealt. It was even possible that executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane and general manager David Forst would take advantage of a thin starting pitching market to sell high on left-hander Sean Manaea.

Not anymore. Oakland has been one of the best teams in baseball since the beginning of June. It ended the first half by playing three consecutive contenders -- the Indians, Astros and Giants -- and won every series. The A's are only three games behind the Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot and could thwart the narrative behind Seattle's storybook season.

Video: TB@NYM: Eovaldi K's 9 over 7 shutout, drives in a run

Oakland's inspired play entering the All-Star break means the A's are very likely to add, rather than subtract, Major League talent at the Deadline. They are considering rental starting pitchers such as Nathan Eovaldi, Lance Lynn and J.A. Happ.

Angels
The Angels were tied for first in the competitive AL West as recently as May 14, but they have played sub-.500 baseball since then while losing starter Garrett Richards and closer Keynan Middleton to Tommy John surgeries.

Mike Trout is due to become a free agent after the 2020 season, and the Halos will be reluctant to concede any opportunity to reach the playoffs between now and then. But the Athletics' ascent in the AL West -- in addition to the established Astros and Mariners -- makes it harder to envision a second-half rally by the Angels.

Video: SEA@LAA: Skaggs K's 5 over 6 innings of 1-run ball

If general manager Billy Eppler embraces the concept of selling, GMs around the industry will come calling. Left-handers Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney are particularly valuable given the shortage of available starters, and new closer Blake Parker has been effective for a second straight year.

Rockies
On June 17, the Rockies' bullpen surrendered seven earned runs in a 13-12 loss to the Rangers that seemed to shatter any hopes of a second straight postseason appearance for Colorado. And yet the Rockies quietly have been one of the National League's best teams since then. They entered the All-Star break on a five-game winning streak to pull within two games of the second NL Wild Card spot.

Video: TB@MIN: Gibson fans 9 over 8 innings of 1-run ball

Unless they stumble terribly out of the break, the Rockies will look to add pitching help before the Deadline. The Twins -- with starters Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi and Lynn -- are a potential trade partner if Colorado prioritizes rotation help. Among relievers, Reds right-hander Jared Hughes has good career numbers at Coors Field.

Giants
The Giants weren't set up to have an especially active Deadline, even before they dropped two of three games to the A's last weekend. San Francisco has the largest payroll in the NL, and there's precious little room to maneuver under the luxury tax threshold.

Video: OAK@SF: Samardzija returns to DL with shoulder issue

It's possible the Giants could buy and sell, by trading expensive players in order to clear the payroll space for a bat or bullpen arm. To that end, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported recently that starter Jeff Samardzija was available. But after Samardzija landed on the disabled list again Sunday with right shoulder inflammation, the chances of him being traded by July 31 are nearly zero.

Cardinals
If the season ended today, the Cardinals would miss the playoffs for a third straight year. That has not happened in nearly two decades (1997-99). For an organization that values consistency, Saturday night's dismissal of manager Mike Matheny ushered in a period of change.

In that way, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak could decide to move veteran players for reasons apart from the team's third-place standing in the NL Central. A surplus of outfielders created by the emergence of Harrison Bader may result in Tommy Pham or Dexter Fowler being traded. Jedd Gyorko, signed through next year with a team option for 2020, has value in the market as a utility player.

Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com.

Showalter fondly recalls Machado's O's tenure

MLB.com @MikeLupica

It was 10 minutes before last Sunday's game between the Orioles and the Rangers was about to resume after a rain delay. Manny Machado had already hit a home run on this day, his 24th. But while both teams were off the field, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette had asked his manager, Buck Showalter, not to put Machado back into the game on a wet field, even though it seems that the field at Camden Yards has been wet all season, a season that has been underwater in all ways.

And even though nothing had been finalized on the trade to the Dodgers that was about to end Machado's Orioles career, both people in the room knew Machado wasn't just on his way out of this game, but on his way out of town as soon as he played the All-Star Game in Washington.

It was 10 minutes before last Sunday's game between the Orioles and the Rangers was about to resume after a rain delay. Manny Machado had already hit a home run on this day, his 24th. But while both teams were off the field, Orioles general manager Dan Duquette had asked his manager, Buck Showalter, not to put Machado back into the game on a wet field, even though it seems that the field at Camden Yards has been wet all season, a season that has been underwater in all ways.

And even though nothing had been finalized on the trade to the Dodgers that was about to end Machado's Orioles career, both people in the room knew Machado wasn't just on his way out of this game, but on his way out of town as soon as he played the All-Star Game in Washington.

On Wednesday night Machado's trade to Los Angeles came to fruition. The Orioles will receive outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-hander Dean Kremer, righty Zach Pop and second baseman Breyvic Valera in return.

Ranked as Los Angeles' No. 4 prospect and the No. 84 prospect in the game by MLB Pipeline, Diaz is the most talented player in the group, with Bannon (No. 27) and Kremer (No. 28) also ranked among the club's Top 30.

"I gotta call him in," Showalter said. "Manny's got his spikes back on, the game's about to start back up. I tell him that I'm pulling him and then he gives me that look. And what the look says to me is: This is it. And just like that, it got real emotional. I said, 'Manny, I've got to be honest with you. It looks like they must have something in place. And if they don't, they're close to having something in place. And they don't want to take a chance on you getting hurt.'

"Now he says, 'Where am I going? Buck, if you know, tell me where I'm going.' I told him the truth, because I didn't, but I said, 'If I knew, I would tell you.'"

Showalter paused now. He has seen every game Manny Machado has played in the big leagues the way Mike Scioscia has seen every game Mike Trout has played in the big leagues. Showalter had managed Don Mattingly in New York, even though when he became the Yankees' manager, Mattingly wasn't the same hitter he'd been when he was young. He briefly managed Alex Rodriguez in Texas, when Rodriguez was young. And now he had seen Manny Machado grow up and grow into being one of the best baseball players in the world.

Players move. They get traded, the way Machado does now. They become free agents, which Machado has a right to become after this season. Managers move, mostly because most of them get fired eventually. Baltimore is Buck Showalter's fourth stop as a big league manager. Rules of the road.

Still: After Showalter had watched Machado play third base and shortstop for him, play 860 regular-season games across seven years -- seven more games in the postseason -- they both knew they were saying goodbye in Showalter's office last Sunday afternoon, after all the rumors about Machado that have dominated the season in Baltimore as much as all the losing has.

"There's a part of me hoping that when we both find out now, it's with a phone call, that when it is official, we don't have to do it again in my office," Showalter said. "That would not be pretty."

He paused again and said, "Listen, I know how the industry operates. But there's a part of me that believes that he shouldn't be leaving Baltimore. I get why he is. But that doesn't mean I have to like it."

Then Showalter was talking about the last 96 games Machado played for the Orioles, with those 24 homers and 65 RBIs and a .315 batting average and a .387 on-base percentage and an OPS of .963, on a team that can't win.

"He's had such little protection," Showalter said. "If you had told me that he'd have 65 RBIs the way our offense has been, with all the focus on him, I wouldn't have believed you. There's been times when [Orioles bench coach] John Russell has said to me, 'Can you believe they're pitching to him?'"

He remembered when Machado first came up to the big leagues as a third baseman, in 2012.

"We knew that he would impact the club defensively until he figured out the offensive part of it," Showalter said. "The biggest jump in all of professional sports is from the pitching you see in the Minors and the pitching you see in the big leagues."

Then everybody, starting with Machado's manager, watched him grow into his body, and into his immense talent for baseball.

"Have I had my moments with him?" Showalter said. "Of course we've had our moments. But I never lost sight of how pure he is, what I call the pureness of his baseball heart. And you could never lose sight of the competitor in him. You push him into a corner, he'll come out firing. You throw at him once too often, he will come at [you].

"He is as talented as they come. He has been focused this season, knowing that stakes for him, from the first pitch of Spring Training. And even over the last two weeks, with all the rumors swirling, he has played [well at] shortstop. To the end, he's done the thing he can do that not many can, which is play this game with imagination."

He saw it all from Manny Machado, from the time Machado got to Baltimore at the age of 20. Now he will watch him do it in Los Angeles. It's the industry. Buck gets it. Doesn't mean the guy who used to be the only guy to ever manage Manny Machado in the big leagues has to like it.

Mike Lupica is a columnist for MLB.com. He also writes for the New York Daily News.

Baltimore Orioles, Manny Machado

One bold second-half prediction for every team

MLB.com @williamfleitch

The All-Star festivities are a welcome break, but don't get too comfortable: It's going to start getting real serious real quick now that this little week-long celebration is over. Every Major League Baseball team has a lot of decisions to make in the next two weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline; decisions that will affect not only the rest of this season, but seasons in the future.

It's an exciting, unsettling time for a fan, but worry not: The Thirty is here to help. Here is one second-half prediction for each MLB team. Some involved on-field performance; some guesstimate about trades; some are just goofy. But you have questions about the second half. We have some probably wrong, but hopefully entertaining answers.

The All-Star festivities are a welcome break, but don't get too comfortable: It's going to start getting real serious real quick now that this little week-long celebration is over. Every Major League Baseball team has a lot of decisions to make in the next two weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline; decisions that will affect not only the rest of this season, but seasons in the future.

It's an exciting, unsettling time for a fan, but worry not: The Thirty is here to help. Here is one second-half prediction for each MLB team. Some involved on-field performance; some guesstimate about trades; some are just goofy. But you have questions about the second half. We have some probably wrong, but hopefully entertaining answers.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays
Josh Donaldson not only won't be traded, but you'll start hearing rumblings about his re-signing with the Blue Jays.

Donaldson is still rehabbing his strained left calf muscle, and he is expected to return before the Trade Deadline passes. That's probably still too soon for him to be traded in time, and even though he could theoretically pass through waivers and be traded in August, here's betting that he spends the final month of the season slowly working himself back into shape and floating the idea of a one-year pillow contract to rebuild his free-agent case after the 2019 season. Heck, one season of Donaldson and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as teammates wouldn't be all bad, would it?

Video: WLD@USA: Guerrero on his son preparing for the majors

Orioles
The Manny Machado haul will be better than you think, but still not enough.

The minuscule return the Tigers got for J.D. Martinez last year has many worrying that the Orioles won't get much for Machado, but even though they waited a year (or two!) too long to trade Machado, the market is still hot enough that they'll do much better than Detroit did. Unfortunately, whatever the O's receive is but a tiny drop in the bucket of their rebuild, which is going to take much longer than one suspects anyone in Baltimore is prepared for.

Video: Machado talks about his potential landing spot

Rays
The Rays will win enough games to win the Wild Card … last year.

Tampa Bay is better than you think, and it could easily surpass the 85 wins Minnesota notched to grab the second AL Wild Card spot last year. But 85 wins isn't going to cut it this time.

Red Sox
The Red Sox will trade for a third baseman, but Rafael Devers will end up being better in September anyway.

Like last year, the Sox are heavily mentioned in trade talks for a third baseman, particularly with Devers' first half struggles. But he's still a massive talent, and he's only 21 years old: He's on the disabled list right now with left shoulder inflammation, but when he gets back, look for the kid to hit his way back into the job before getting hot in the playoffs and make the idea of anyone else playing third base other than him look ridiculous.

Video: Devers heats up with .375 average, 2 HRs in last week

Yankees
The Yankees will trade for a top-tier starter … and they'll still finish second.

The Yanks need a second starter behind Luis Severino, and they'll get one. But it might not matter, because they still won't catch the Red Sox and will thus, depending on what happens in the AL Wild Card Game, perhaps only have the need for one postseason starter anyway.

AL CENTRAL

Indians
The Indians will get hot in August and make everyone forget they were ever doubted.

The Tribe has been treading water all season and is still 7 1/2 games up. Wait until the Indians finally figure it out. They might not win 22 games in a row this time, but August is going to be a fun month to be a Cleveland fan again.

Royals
Mike Moustakas will be traded, which will lead to the Royals averaging about two runs a game in the second half.

Seriously, imagine pitching to this Royals lineup without Moustakas in it.

Video: KC@MIN: Moustakas crushes two solo homers

Tigers
Christin Stewart will be their low-rent Rhys Hoskins in September.

Stewart is on the Minor League DL right now, but the Tigers will call him up in September and let the slugging outfielder loose. He'll go nuts, getting Detroit fans probably a little bit too excited.

Video: Christin Stewart is Minor League Player of the Year

Twins
Byron Buxton will return, finish the season on one of his hot streaks and the hype train will begin again.

Buxton will then start next season slowly and we'll go through all this again.

White Sox
You'll get to see Eloy Jimenez, at least briefly.

Have you noticed a theme in the AL Central? It's all about excitement for players who aren't on the active roster.

Video: Eloy Jimenez on working hard, preparing for Majors

AL WEST

Angels
The strangest, most upsetting streak in MLB will continue.

Mike Trout, who will win his third AL MVP Award (and theoretically could have six at this point), will remain winless in the postseason for his career. Seriously, this factoid is so upsetting.

Video: 2018 ASG: Statcast™ measures Trout's 401-ft. HR in ASG

Astros
The Astros, who totally don't need the help, will end up getting one of the top players available at the Trade Deadline, just because they can.

I'm thinking Brad Hand.

Video: Hand on trade chances, All-Star Game and McGwire

Athletics
The A's will continue their tradition of having quietly fun teams that are a blast to watch and cheer for, that nevertheless fall short of the ultimate prize.

Being an Oakland fan seems exhausting.

Mariners
The Mariners will end their playoff drought!

That's the good news! The bad news is that they'll only get one playoff game, they'll be on the road, they'll lose it and Felix Hernandez won't even get to pitch in it. SAD EMOJI.

Rangers
Bartolo Colon will start the last game of the regular season, and he'll get a standing ovation because everyone will think it's his last game.

(Narrator: It wasn't.)

Video: TEX@DET: Colon strikes out 3 in complete-game effort

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves
Ronald Acuna Jr.'s gonna get hot.

The Braves rookie has been fine, not spectacular, since finally getting called up this spring. But the explosion is coming. And it might come just in time for an Atlanta team that is undoubtedly one of the most exciting in baseball right now.

Video: ATL@MIL: Acuna Jr. collects a pinch-hit single in 7th

Marlins
Someone will give up very little in a trade for Justin Bour and be happy they did.

Bour is a classically underappreciated power-hitting first baseman who any contending team would be ecstatic to have on their bench in October. If he's traded, you watch: He'll have a big postseason moment.

Video: MIA@MIL: Bour slugs a solo homer to right-center

Mets
The Mets won't trade Jacob deGrom.

Not because they shouldn't -- they should, as my colleague Mike Petriello pointed out -- but because with Sandy Alderson ill and out of commission, there probably just isn't the organizational fortitude right now for such a major trade. It's a shame, too: This could be a transformative moment for the Mets.

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

Nationals
The Nationals will make the playoffs.

This is probably a fool's bet, but it still just seems insane that this Nats team, this particular season, will fall short. Here's betting they have one last push in them. Heck, knowing them, this will be the year they make it to the NL Championship Series.

Phillies
Playoffs or not, Gabe Kapler's going to do a victory lap.

Even with their recent run, the Phillies are the team of the three NL East contenders I feel might end up falling short of the playoffs this year, but that's still an unquestioned victory considering where this franchise was just one year ago. No one's making coconut oil jokes anymore.

Video: Nola on his improved performance, Kapler's positivity

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
The Brewers will get one of the best players at the Trade Deadline.

This is the year the Brew Crew has been working toward, and it feels like a CC Sabathia-esque trade would serve them perfect in their breakthrough year.

Cardinals
The Cardinals are not coming around.

This has been the most frustrating Cardinals season, both on and off the field, in more than two decades, leading to widespread speculation that major changes could be in order. Some Cards supporters are hopeful that the team has one run left in them, a finishing kick that could save everything (and everyone). They are kidding themselves.

Cubs
Yu Darvish will come back, but only briefly.

Get used to the phrase "lost season" being used a lot at the Cubs' Spring Training camp next March.

Pirates
Austin Meadows will finish the season hitting above .300.

It took Meadows a little longer to arrive than he and the Pirates might have been hoping, but he's here now. This is only going to get better.

Video: PIT@SD: Meadows smacks an RBI double to left in 9th

Reds
The Reds aren't going to finish in last place.

Cincinnati has looked like a different team entirely since Jim Riggleman took over, and now the Reds are motivated to keep it going in the second half. They'll pass somebody … will it be the Pirates, or even the Cardinals?

NL WEST

D-backs
The D-backs will trade for one, maybe two, starting pitchers.

Arizona doesn't need an ace right now so much as it needs some volume innings. There are plenty of those guys on the market; Lance Lynn might look pretty nice in a D-backs jersey, actually.

Video: MIN@CWS: Lynn fans Abreu to earn 1,000th career K

Dodgers
The Dodgers are making the playoffs.

You didn't really think they were dead back in May, did you? The way baseball works, heck, this will be the Dodgers team that wins the World Series.

Video: Kemp, Jansen discuss first half of season

Giants
The Giants aren't gonna give up the ghost.

You have to admire the Giants and their total lack of interest in planning for the future. Maybe they have info about the end of the world that we don't? San Francisco will probably sit tight at the Trade Deadline and try to ride this out, hoping the club can catch lightning in a bottle this fall. For what it's worth, this has worked for the Giants before.

Padres
You're not seeing Fernando Tatis Jr. this year.

Sorry. Be patient.

Video: WLD@USA: Tatis Jr. rips a single off a 102-mph heater

Rockies
The Rockies will finish under .500.

Coloado has hung in all right, and you understand the Rockies going for it after making the playoffs last year, but the NL is a little too packed this year. And those Nolan Arenado questions are looming: Remember, he's a free agent after next season.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

MLB

That time Machado HR nearly left stadium in LA

After all the rumors, all the speculation and all the hugs, handshakes and selfies on the bases in the All-Star Game, it's official: Manny Machado is a Dodger. The news was announced on Wednesday, with five prospects heading to Baltimore in exchange for Machado's services in Los Angeles. 

We don't need to remind you how much of an offensive jolt this gives the already-prolific Dodgers offense. No team in the National League has hit more homers than the Dodgers' 129, and no Dodger has hit more individual homers than Machado's 24. Breakout star Max Muncy was the team leader with 22 before the All-Star break. 

There's a new NL leader in latest MVP poll

MLB.com @RichardJustice

Mike Trout remains firmly in control of the American League MVP Award race. Even with Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Jose Ramirez having monstrous seasons, Trout continues to lead our writers poll by a wide margin.

As for the National League race, it couldn't be more wide open, as six players received first-place votes. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado overtook Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman for the top spot in the overall NL voting.

Mike Trout remains firmly in control of the American League MVP Award race. Even with Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and Jose Ramirez having monstrous seasons, Trout continues to lead our writers poll by a wide margin.

As for the National League race, it couldn't be more wide open, as six players received first-place votes. Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado overtook Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman for the top spot in the overall NL voting.

Arenado moves into first place at a time when the Rockies have sprinted into the All-Star break with a 13-3 run that has them within two games of the first-place Dodgers in the NL West.

Arenado has won virtually every other personal award except Most Valuable Player. He's a four-time All-Star and a five-time Gold Glove winner at third base. He finished fifth in NL MVP voting in 2016 and fourth in '17.

Arenado entered the break with 21 doubles, 23 home runs and a .981 OPS. At 27, he has long since established himself as one of baseball's elite talents.

Meanwhile, Trout got 28 out of 35 first-place votes in the AL, with Martinez getting four and Betts three. Ramirez was the only other American Leaguer to receive votes.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mike Trout, Angels (159 points)
Trout leads the Majors with a .454 OBP, but his name is dotted along the leaderboard in virtually every category, including total bases, home runs, etc. He leads the bigs with 17 intentional walks. 

2. Mookie Betts, Red Sox (73 points)
Betts hasn't closed the gap on Trout in the voting. Statistically, though, he has passed Trout in wRC+, slugging, OPS and wOBA. Betts, Trout and Ramirez are tied at 6.5 WAR, according to FanGraphs. Betts also leads the AL with a .359 batting average.

3. J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (45 points)
Martinez leads the Majors with 29 home runs, 80 RBIs and 228 total bases as he enters the second half of another huge season. Since being traded from the Tigers to the D-backs a year ago Thursday, he leads the bigs with 58 home runs and a 1.065 OPS in 154 games.

Others receiving votes: Ramirez, Indians

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Nolan Arenado, Rockies (108 points)
Arenado has been so good for so long -- averaging 40 home runs and 131 RBIs over the previous three seasons -- that an NL MVP Award probably is a better question of when, not if. He's batting .323 during the Rockies' hot streak.

2. Freddie Freeman, Braves (90 points)
Freeman's power numbers dropped off a bit, with one home run in 99 at-bats leading into the break. But his batting average hasn't dropped below .300 since late April, and his 3.9 WAR is second only to Arenado's 4.1 in the NL.

3. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers (61 points)
Cain's 3.5 WAR is third in the NL, reflecting the defensive contributions that are part of his overall game. He's tied for the top spot in Defensive Runs Saved in the NL. Cain is hitting .337 since June 5 and has multihit games in 13 of his past 24 contests.

Others receiving votes: Jesus Aguilar, Brewers; Eugenio Suarez, Reds; Jacob deGrom, Mets; Javier Baez, Cubs; J.T. Realmuto, Marlins

Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice.

Nolan Arenado, Mike Trout

Latest: Dozier, Ramos, Moose, Escobar, Hand

The latest news and rumors leading up to July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline
MLB.com

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Latest: Could Brewers land Dozier?
July 18: After falling short in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, the Brewers could turn their pre-Deadline attention to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

As the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, we'll keep you up to date with the latest news, buzz, rumors and more.

Latest: Could Brewers land Dozier?
July 18: After falling short in the Manny Machado sweepstakes, the Brewers could turn their pre-Deadline attention to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: Among the players the #Brewers are expected to target now that they have lost Machado: #Twins 2B Brian Dozier. Team also will explore pitching upgrades as well.

With Machado no longer available after the Orioles traded him to the Dodgers on Wednesday night, Dozier would be a quality consolation prize for the contending Crew. The 31-year-old Dozier has struggled in 2018 -- batting just .230 -- but he's still notched 16 homers, 60 runs and five steals in 93 games. Dozier ranked among the baseball's top keystone men over the previous two seasons, batting .269/.349/.522 with 76 homers, 210 runs and 34 steals in 307 contests.

If acquired, Dozier would be a significant upgrade over Hernan Perez, who has reached base at just a .282 clip in 2018, and Jonathan Villar, who has struggled when healthy (.315 OBP) and is currently on the DL with a sprained right thumb. Dozier would likely only serve as a half-season rental for Milwaukee, though, as he is set to be a free agent after this year.

The Brewers could also look to bolster their pitching staff, which currently ranks fourth in the National League with a combined 3.65 ERA. Despite the strong numbers, Milwaukee could use an ace to shore up a rotation that currently consists of Chase Anderson, Jhoulys Chacin, Wade Miley and Brent Suter.

Ramos may not return by Trade Deadline
July 18: A strained left hamstring already cost Wilson Ramos a chance to start the All-Star Game. Now it could impact the Rays' chances to trade the backstop.

Ramos, who was voted in at catcher but missed the Midsummer Classic due to the injury, is having a strong season with a .297/.346/.488 line to go with 14 home runs. The 30-year-old, however, was placed on the 10-day DL Wednesday and appears likely to be out beyond the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Tweet from @TBTimes_Rays: #Rays officially put Ramos on DL with left hamstring strain, as expected. He is likely to miss extended time, past July 31 trade deadline. Also reinstated LHP Jose Alvarado from family medical emergency list.

While Ramos' trade value already had taken a hit, it's now even lower, which is a tough outcome for the Rays. Not only could Ramos have brought back a nice return in a depleted catching market, but he also is a free agent at season's end, thus limiting the Rays' opportunity to get anything of real value for him. Perhaps they'll revisit shopping him in August, before the waiver Trade Deadline at the end of next month.

Phillies turn attention elsewhere after missing out on Machado
July 18: After heavy pursuit, the Phillies missed out on Manny Machado -- who is heading to the Dodgers -- but that doesn't mean they're going to sit still. As they exit the All-Star break with a half-game lead over the Braves in the National League East, the Phils are aiming to add ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Among their top targets now? Mike Moustakas of the Royals and Eduardo Escobar of the Twins, MLB.com's Todd Zolecki writes. The Phillies are looking for an upgrade on the left side of their infield, where youngsters Maikel Franco, Scott Kingery and J.P. Crawford have struggled with injuries and inconsistency. Although both Moustakas and Escobar primarily play third base, Escobar has experience at shortstop.

Both Moustakas, who has 19 homers and a .772 OPS, and Escobar, who owns an .834 OPS and an MLB-high 35 doubles, can be free agents at season's end. As rental players, they could help the Phillies' quest to make it back to the postseason for the first time since 2011 -- and may not require a huge return that would dent their promising future. More >

Philadelphia is also interested in Padres reliever Brad Hand, according to The Athletic. Hand is one of the best relievers on the trade market, and the price tag would be steep. Nevertheless, the Phillies' bullpen, with a 4.08 ERA, could use an upgrade as the club enters the second half in contention for an NL East title. Hand owns a 3.05 ERA in 41 appearances (44 1/3 innings) for San Diego this season. In 195 appearances since 2016, he's posted a 2.66 ERA while striking out one out of every three batters he's faced.

Video: Slugger Moustakas delivering at the plate, in field

Cardinals among clubs on buy-or-sell bubble
July 18: The second half is about to start and the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline is less than two weeks away, but there still are a handful of teams who can't clearly be labeled as buyers or sellers … yet.

The Cardinals -- sitting four games out of a National League Wild Card spot at 48-46 and coming off the dismissal of longtime skipper Mike Matheny just before the break -- are one such club. St. Louis has a few intriguing trade chips, as MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi points to versatile infielder Jedd Gyorko (signed through next season with a club option for 2020) and 2017 breakout outfielder Tommy Pham (under club control through 2021).

The 29-year-old Gyorko's power is down this season -- he's slugging .411 after posting .495 and .472 marks in 2016 and '17, respectively -- but his ability to play all four infield positions could prove useful to a contender.

Pham is an especially interesting name to float, given that he came from nowhere to slash .306/.411/.520 while compiling 23 homers and 25 steals last year. He is, however, already 30 years old and has slumped to a .243/.326/.396 line so far in a streaky 2018 campaign. Morosi notes that the Cardinals' outfield depth, including rookie Harrison Bader's emergence, could make Pham worth dangling for a sizable return. More >

Dodgers complete deal for Machado
July 18: While the expectation since late Tuesday night has been that the Dodgers will be the winners of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, nothing had been finalized as of Wednesday afternoon. However, the blockbuster deal is now complete.

In exchange for Machado, Baltimore will receive outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-hander Dean Kremer, righty Zach Pop and second baseman Breyvic Valera. Ranked as Los Angeles' No. 4 prospect and the No. 84 prospect in the game by MLB Pipeline, Diaz is the most talented player in the group, with Bannon (No. 27) and Kremer (No. 28) also ranked among the club's Top 30.

The 21-year-old Diaz is slashing .314/.428/.477 at Double-A this season, and he showed off his power by homering twice in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, joining Alfonso Soriano (in 1999) as the only players to pull off that feat in the showcase's 20-year history.

Video: WLD@USA: Diaz clobbers 2-run jack, game-tying HR

Though there was a reported snag involving an issue with the physical of one (or more) of the prospects headed to Baltimore, according to MLB Network Radio host and former Mets GM Steve Phillips, the Orioles and Dodgers have worked past any medical issues.

Britton's market picking up
July 18: Manny Machado was their biggest chip -- and the biggest one on the trade market -- but the Orioles have another key piece in Zach Britton, who is likely to be moved soon after Machado. Interest in the lefty reliever has increased, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli.

Britton has made 15 appearances this season after returning from offseason surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles. Though he got off to a rough start, the 30-year-old has not given up a run over his past seven outings (seven innings) while showing a dramatic increase in velocity.

As many as eight teams have been connected to Britton, an industry source recently told Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score, including the Cubs, Phillies and Red Sox.

Will teams wheel and deal well before Trade Deadline?
July 18: Conventional wisdom says front offices tend to wait until the last week -- or even the last day -- before making massive moves at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. But that no longer appears to be the case, as activity has picked up sooner over the past several years, including during the All-Star break on occasion.

With Manny Machado on his way to the Dodgers, this could be the latest in a recent run of blockbuster-caliber trades to happen well ahead of the Deadline. In fact, we could see a big-name player change teams before the second half resumes for the third straight season, after Jose Quintana (to the Cubs) and Drew Pomeranz (to the Red Sox) did so in 2017 and '16, respectively. More >

Hand retires all three batters faced in All-Star Game
July 18: Brad Hand showed why he's one of the most coveted relievers on the trade market with a strong performance in Tuesday night's Midsummer Classic.

After Josh Hader surrendered Jean Segura's tiebreaking three-run homer and allowed a Mitch Moreland single, Hand entered with one out in the top of the eighth inning. He struck out Yan Gomes and got Michael Brantley to ground out to end any potential further scoring threat.

Making his second straight All-Star appearance, the Padres lefty stayed in to open the top of the ninth and proceeded to get Jed Lowrie to pop out before giving way to Ross Stripling. All told, it was a perfect performance from the 28-year-old, who has garnered interest from a number of teams for his stellar track record and team-friendly contract.

Tweet from @jcrasnick: Add the #Indians to list of teams with interest in #Padres closer Brad Hand. He's signed for $6.5M and $7M the next two years, with a $10M club option for 2021. So he could be a nice hedge against Andrew Miller and Cody Allen leaving through free agency. Price very high, though.

Happ picks up save in Midsummer Classic
July 18: J.A. Happ had never made an appearance in the All-Star Game or a notched a save in his 12-year MLB career, but both of those changed Tuesday night.

The Blue Jays lefty, who hadn't pitched in relief since one outing in 2015 with the Mariners, came into the game in the bottom of the 10th with the American League ahead of the National League, 8-5. After giving up a home run to Joey Votto on his first pitch, the first-time All-Star settled down to register his first career save by striking out Christian Yelich, then getting Charlie Blackmon to ground out and Lorenzo Cain to fly out.

Although Happ has hit a bit of a rough patch with a 9.75 ERA in his past three starts, the 35-year-old free-agent-to-be remains one of the bigger trade targets for teams seeking mid-rotation help, including the Phillies, who have "definite interest" in Happ, according to Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Phillies have also been connected to the Rangers' Cole Hamels, another lefty who began his career with Philadelphia, but Salisbury notes "there has been no evidence to date that the Phils are pursuing Hamels." The 34-year-old has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for 2019.

Choo drawing little trade interest; Hamels, Beltre also lacking suitors
July 17: While the Rangers are expected to be Trade Deadline sellers, they may have trouble finding attractive deals for many of their key trade chips. Even Shin-Soo Choo, who entered the All-Star break on a 51-game on-base streak, is drawing little interest, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Choo is owed $42 million over 2019-20 as well as the remainder of the $20 million on his deal for this season, and he also offers little defensive value, which may be why teams aren't lining up to deal for the 36-year-old.

Per Grant, the market is also tepid for starter Cole Hamels and third baseman Adrian Beltre.

Hamels has struggled some this season, allowing 21 homers in 109 1/3 innings (1.7 HR/9), and he won't come cheap. The left-hander is owed the remainder of the $23.5 million on his contract for 2018 ($2.5 million of which is being paid by the Phillies), and he has a $20 million team option with a $6 million buyout for '19.

Meanwhile, Beltre has been spending more time as the designated hitter due to injuries, and his OPS is just .739. There's also the question of whether he will consider waiving his full no-trade clause, which comes from him having 10-and-5 rights (10-plus years in the Majors, at least five with current team). The impending free agent reportedly would like to play with the Rangers in 2019 and may approve a trade only if it's the perfect situation.

O's also listening on Gausman, Bundy, Schoop?
July 17: While Manny Machado has been the biggest story in Baltimore of late, the Orioles have plenty of other assets that could be moved ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Lefty reliever Zach Britton and outfielder Adam Jones -- both free agents at the end of the 2018 season -- are chief among those names, but the club isn't limiting itself as it faces a rebuilding process. In fact, the O's reportedly are listening to offers on right-handed starters Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, along with second baseman Jonathan Schoop, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman notes in a New York Post story.

"I think their goal is to trade their walk-year guys, Machado, Britton, [Brad] Brach and Adam Jones, but they are not hanging up the phone if you ask on Gausman, Bundy or Schoop," a baseball executive told Sherman.

Given the O's desire to address their pitching, it would be surprising to see them deal either Gausman, who is 27 and under club control through 2020, or Bundy, a 25-year-old who won't reach free agency until after the 2021 season. Schoop, on the other hand, is due to hit the open market following the 2019 campaign, although his disappointing season so far (.229/.263/.389) means the club would be selling low on a 26-year-old who was an All-Star a year ago.

Padres getting calls on Ross, Yates, Hand
July 16: Brad Hand isn't the only Padres pitcher to be highly coveted by contending clubs. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports San Diego has been "getting a lot of hits" on starter Tyson Ross and several relievers, including Hand and Kirby Yates. Sherman notes the Yankees are among the teams that have checked in with the Padres.

Ross, who can become a free agent at the end of this season, has posted a 4.32 ERA in 2018, though he had a much more impressive 3.32 mark through the end of June before allowing 15 runs over his first two starts of July.

Hand, 28, is among the best relievers in baseball, as he has posted a 2.66 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and an 11.8 K/9 rate since the outset of 2016. In exchange for the two-time All-Star, who is signed through 2020 with a $10 million team option for 2021, the Padres are believed to be asking for a package similar to those the Yankees got for Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller in two separate deals during 2016.

The Cubs also reportedly have Hand on their wish list, according to Bruce Levine of Chicago radio station 670 The Score.

Yates, meanwhile, has quietly recorded a 1.47 ERA with a 0.90 WHIP and an 11.5 K/9 rate this season. The 31-year-old is controllable through 2020.

Rosenthal: 'Almost no doubt' Dodgers will add reliever
July 16: The Dodgers are expected to be a major player in the relief pitching market before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal noted in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

The Dodgers are seeking a bullpen arm who can pitch the eighth inning and also spell closer Kenley Jansen from time to time, according to Rosenthal, who said "there's almost no doubt" the club will trade for a reliever.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@kryptonic05 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/y7foYiKfyU

Los Angeles leaned heavily on Brandon Morrow during the 2017 postseason as a setup man for Jansen, but Morrow signed with the Cubs in the offseason.

Though Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani and Pedro Baez have had solid campaigns, all three are on the disabled list with arm injuries, and none is on the level of someone such as Zach Britton, Raisel Iglesias, Jeurys Familia or Kyle Barraclough.

Will Archer be traded?
July 16: The Rays face an interesting decision with Chris Archer, whose name has been floated among trade rumors for years. On one hand, they have a young core that has them above .500 and looks promising going forward, especially if Archer is a part of it. On the other, Tampa Bay could take advantage of a weak market for starters and put Archer in play.

"Given the state of the starting pitching market, the incentive for [the Rays] to move him might never be higher," MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal suggested in a Twitter question-and-answer session on @MLBONFOX.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@jboy819 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/Gm4QrCgP7Y

That said, Archer just came off the DL a week ago for a left abdominal strain that cost him more than a month of action and his performance so far this season has been somewhat inconsistent (4.29 ERA, 1.38 WHIP). In other words, making Archer available now might be undercutting his full value.

As a 29-year-old making $6.25 million this year and under contract for $7.5 million next year with club options for 2020 ($9M) and 2021 ($11M), Archer would be appealing to just about any club looking for rotation help -- not just 2018 contenders. His team-friendly contract also allows the cost-conscious Rays to be patient with their prized right-hander.

Amid trade rumors, deGrom addresses his future
July 16: As Jacob deGrom continues to be at the center of trade speculation, the All-Star right-hander made it clear he's open to staying with the Mets long term.

deGrom's agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA Sports initially suggested Monday that the Mets might consider trading their ace sooner than later if they don't plan to offer him a contract extension, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: More from Van Wagenen: ���If the Mets don���t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now.The inertia of current situation could complicate Jacob���s relationship with the club and creates an atmosphere of indecision.���

The 30-year-old deGrom, who leads MLB with a 1.68 ERA and is under club control through 2020, responded to questions at All-Star media day in Washington, D.C., by stating: "We've said multiple times that we're open to talking [about an] extension. It's kind of up to [the Mets] what they want to do." More >

Video: deGrom on his future with the Mets, trade rumors

Astros might stand pat at Trade Deadline
July 16: The Astros have reportedly discussed dealing for a catcher and a reliever, but there's a chance they won't make any major moves before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, according to MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal in a Twitter Q&A session for FOX Sports.

Tweet from @MLBONFOX: .@nnickk22 #AskKen pic.twitter.com/4gWhpCLIMM

With backstop Brian McCann (right knee surgery) expected to return by September and Max Stassi providing solid production (.792 OPS), Rosenthal notes the Astros are more likely to get a reliever than a catcher.

Per Rosenthal, Houston is seeking someone who can be a "true difference-maker" in the bullpen, such as Zach Britton, Brad Hand or Raisel Iglesias.

But with the ability to shift either Lance McCullers Jr. or Charlie Morton to the 'pen during the postseason, as they did last year when they won the World Series, the Astros may not feel a sense of urgency to add a big-name reliever.

Braves not expected to pursue big-name rentals
July 16: The Braves have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2018 season, unexpectedly putting the team in the "buyer" category as executive vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos prepares for his first Trade Deadline at the helm. But judging by Anthopoulos' comments in a two-part Q&A with Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves aren't planning to mortgage their bright future for a short-term boost.

"We would prefer not to go after rentals unless the acquisition cost just makes so much sense for us," Anthopoulos said. "There's a lot of pain that has gone into putting together this young talent. We're not ready to throw that all away just because of one season."

MLB Pipeline: Braves Top 30 prospects

Earlier this month, the Braves were mentioned among the contenders for Manny Machado, but that ship has sailed, as the Dodgers acquired the All-Star shortstop Wednesday night. Atlanta has also been connected to Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Like Machado, Moustakas can become a free agent after this season.

One area Anthopoulos could look to address is the bullpen, especially with closer Arodys Vizcaino going back on the DL on Saturday with right shoulder inflammation. The Braves entered the All-Star break with the 19th-best bullpen ERA in the Majors (4.24), and many of their key relievers are inexperienced. However, Atlanta could have limited options if free-agents-to-be such as the Orioles' Zach Britton and the Mets' Jeurys Familia are off the table. More >

Angels unlikely to deal Skaggs or Heaney
July 16: With a 49-48 record at the end of the first half, the Angels remain on the fringe of postseason contention, but they are nine games out of an AL Wild Card spot. That has sparked speculation that the club might consider selling by the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, with southpaw starters Tyler Skaggs and Andrew Heaney mentioned as potential pieces.

That no longer appears to be the case, however, as MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal reports via Twitter.

Tweet from @Ken_Rosenthal: #Angels have no interest in trading Heaney or Skaggs, per source - team needs them to compete in ���19. As I said Saturday, LAA drawing interest in controllable relievers - Parker, Alvarez, Bedrosian, Anderson. Open on any of them, but will want good returns to give up control.

With superstar Mike Trout smack in the middle of his prime and under contract through 2020, the Angels want to win in this window while they can. Both Skaggs (through '20) and Heaney (through '21) are under club control beyond this season, meaning they can be a part of that direction.

It had previously been reported by MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi that the Yankees have recently been scouting Angels games with eyes on Skaggs and Heaney, in particular.

Nationals could 'revisit' Realmuto trade discussions
July 15: The Nationals were believed to have moved on from Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto due to Miami's lofty asking price, but league sources say that Washington could "revisit" its pursuit of the backstop, according to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman in an article for Fancred Sports.

Some think the Nats might consider including top prospect Victor Robles (No. 5 overall, per MLB Pipeline) in a package for Realmuto, who will start at catcher for the National League in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

Per Heyman, the Marlins have long sought Robles and/or infielder Carter Kieboom (Washington's No. 2 prospect, No. 62 overall) from the Nationals, who discussed Realmuto with Miami in the offseason and reached out again several weeks ago but have been unwilling to include the aforementioned prospects to this point.

The Nationals have also been connected to Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who played in Washington from 2010-16, but Ramos suffered a left hamstring injury Saturday and will miss the All-Star Game.

Listen: Mark Feinsand joins the Morning Lineup Podcast to discuss latest rumors

Are Pirates still on track to sell at Trade Deadline?
July 16: The Pirates were seemingly en route to be Trade Deadline sellers just over a week ago, but the club has ripped off an 8-1 stretch -- including a five-game sweep over the Brewers -- to potentially change its plans.

As Tim Benz of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review notes, general manager Neal Huntington said before this past week that a 4-4 record in the next eight games wouldn't be enough to convince him to keep the team together beyond the Trade Deadline. But Pittsburgh's red-hot run has put pressure on Huntington to hold off on a major teardown.

True, the Bucs are still only 48-49, putting them in fourth place in the National League Central, and their financial resources remain limited, so it's unlikely they'll significantly add to the roster between now and July 31.

But if Pittsburgh continues to play well coming out of the All-Star break, the onus will be on Huntington to keep veterans such as Jordy Mercer, Corey Dickerson, Ivan Nova, David Freese and Josh Harrison past July 31. The Pirates are also without one of their most valuable trade chips, as catcher Francisco Cervelli returned to the 7-day disabled list Saturday with recurring concussion symptoms.

Cardinals could sell if struggles continue after All-Star break
July 15: The Cardinals picked up a win in their final game before the All-Star break after dismissing manager Mike Matheny on Saturday, but if their recent struggles continue to begin the second half, the expectation is that St. Louis will "seriously consider selling," according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

And if that happens, the Cardinals could shake up the starting pitcher market in a big way by making right-hander Carlos Martinez available.

As Sherman notes, St. Louis' strength is young arms, so the club could use Martinez to address other problems on the roster. Per Sherman, outside executives believe the Cardinals can get peak value for Martinez in a market lacking an ace. The 26-year-old is in the second year of a five-year, $51 million contract with team options for 2022 ($17 million) and 2023 ($18 million).

The Cardinals will enter the All-Star break with a 48-46 record, 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs in the National League Central (five games behind the second-placed Brewers) and four games out in the NL Wild Card race. They'll open the second half with eight games on the road, including five at Wrigley Field.