Dodgers looming, Machado keeps level head

July 17th, 2018

WASHINGTON -- Orioles shortstop Manny Machado played five innings in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, going hitless in two at-bats and leaving shortly before 11 p.m. ET in what is expected to be his swan song in black and orange.
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The O's are closing in on a deal that would send the 26-year-old superstar to the Dodgers, multiple sources confirmed to late Tuesday night. The deal is not done, though it's close enough that -- barring a medical issue -- it would be a major upset if Machado isn't traded before Friday.
What Baltimore would get back is one of the items still being worked out.
MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal -- who interviewed Machado in the American League dugout during the All-Star Game -- first reported that the deal is "happening," though Machado said he hadn't heard anything.
"It was a tremendous honor to wear this uniform," Machado said of the possible finality of him in an Orioles jersey. "They gave me the opportunity to come up and play in the big leagues. ... If this is the last time, hopefully I treated them well and did everything I can for the organization."

Machado did not talk to the media upon leaving Nationals Park, but he stopped to speak to former O's teammate and hugged family and friends in the tunnel.
Machado will be a free agent after this season, but even if he ends up a half-season rental for the Dodgers, he could be a huge difference-maker in the National League West race. The Dodgers, who entered the All-Star break leading the division by a half-game over the D-backs at 53-43, lost star shortstop for the season due to Tommy John surgery. And Machado is having a career year offensively, hitting .315 with 24 home runs and 65 RBIs entering the second half.

Machado declined Tuesday afternoon to talk about what it might be like to join a team such as the Dodgers, and he also didn't want to speculate about whether he'd still be with the Orioles when they travel to Toronto to open the second half later this week.
"I don't expect anything, to be honest," Machado said. "I'm not trying to worry about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, I'll be there [in Toronto]."

The Orioles -- seeking young, controllable pitchers this offseason when dangling Machado -- have now aggressively pursued the best package possible. Of particular interest to the O's, who love power hitters, would be 21-year-old Yusniel Diaz, who is with the Dodgers' Double-A club. Diaz hit two home runs in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and is ranked as the No. 4 prospect in the Dodgers' organization, according to MLB Pipeline.

According to NBC Los Angeles, the deal also includes right-hander Dustin May (Dodgers' No. 10 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) and middle infielder Errol Robinson (No. 18), with the Orioles sending the Dodgers cash and potentially international bonus pool money. The clubs have not confirmed.

New York Post's Joel Sherman weighed in as well, reporting that the deal could include as many as five prospects going to Baltimore.

Considered the best available player in advance of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Machado has been linked to more than a half-dozen teams, though suitors started to bow out as talks progressed. The O's took Machado out of Sunday's game in the fifth inning due to muddy field conditions, tipping their hand as to just how close they are to dealing the superstar.
Machado is expected to be the first of several potential midseason trades for the Orioles, who have gotten interest about pending free agents, including closer Zach Britton, reliever and center fielder .