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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.

Machado will be in lineup to open second half

Dodgers' acquisition expected to play primarily at shortstop
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The next time you see Manny Machado and Matt Kemp on the field, they won't be mugging for selfies as All-Star opponents. They'll be playing for real, as Dodgers teammates.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said Machado will be in the lineup Friday night in Milwaukee when the Dodgers resume play. He's likely to be at shortstop, but with Justin Turner having missed the last four games with a tight adductor, Machado just as easily could be starting at third base.

LOS ANGELES -- The next time you see Manny Machado and Matt Kemp on the field, they won't be mugging for selfies as All-Star opponents. They'll be playing for real, as Dodgers teammates.

General manager Farhan Zaidi said Machado will be in the lineup Friday night in Milwaukee when the Dodgers resume play. He's likely to be at shortstop, but with Justin Turner having missed the last four games with a tight adductor, Machado just as easily could be starting at third base.

Although Machado has stated he considers himself a shortstop, he's played both positions, and that's a good thing when you're a Dodger.

Video: Farhan Zaidi on acquiring Machado from the Orioles

"He's going to move around, like a lot of our guys do," said Zaidi. "[Manager] Dave Roberts has already spoken to him about how much we value flexibility. We pointed out that every position player on our roster has played multiple positions. Manny being willing to move between shortstop and third, we believe he can be an asset at both positions. It's less about evaluating Manny at those positions and more about giving [Roberts] options. He understands the way we manage the roster. He's told us he wants to do whatever he can to help this team succeed and win. So, he's on board"

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

If everybody is ever healthy, Machado figures to start mostly at shortstop, nudging Chris Taylor mostly to second base, sending Max Muncy mostly to first base and Cody Bellinger mostly to center field.

Or, Taylor can return to center field, with Muncy or Enrique Hernandez at second and Bellinger at first. Because Taylor, Bellinger and Hernandez are equally adept at the outfield and the infield, the combinations are seemingly endless.

Taylor opened the season as the starting center fielder. He became the starting shortstop when Corey Seager was lost for the season to Tommy John surgery. Indirectly, that led to the trade for Machado, which means another move for Taylor.

"Our plan is for [Taylor] to regularly get in the lineup, probably a mix of some shortstop and some second base, center field, maybe the corner outfield," said Zaidi. "He's shown over the last year and a half how important he is to our lineup."

Machado has batted primarily third for the Orioles this year, with a few games at second and he figures to be in one or the other spot for the Dodgers so he'll bat in the first inning. Seager generally batted second.

"Even though our offense has been pretty good, any time you have a chance to put an impact bat in the middle of the lineup, it can't help but look even better," Zaidi said. "He hasn't struck out much. Some of the fluctuations we've had offensively, having a consistent offensive force like Manny Machado in the middle, hopefully, can smooth those things over."

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado

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

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

O's get Futures Game star in haul for Machado

Diaz highlights package of 5 prospects coming from Dodgers
MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- The rumors, speculation and wondering has come to an end. The barrage of questions over. Manny Machado exited Nationals Park after the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night as a member of the Orioles for the final time, with a deal between Baltimore and the Los Angeles Dodgers consummated on Wednesday night.

The trade nets the Orioles five prospects -- outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-hander Dean Kremer, righty Zach Pop and second baseman Breyvic Valera. And regardless of whether some, none or all of those prospects ultimately pan out, there will be no filling the shoes of the 26-year-old superstar Machado.

BALTIMORE -- The rumors, speculation and wondering has come to an end. The barrage of questions over. Manny Machado exited Nationals Park after the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night as a member of the Orioles for the final time, with a deal between Baltimore and the Los Angeles Dodgers consummated on Wednesday night.

The trade nets the Orioles five prospects -- outfielder Yusniel Diaz, third baseman Rylan Bannon, right-hander Dean Kremer, righty Zach Pop and second baseman Breyvic Valera. And regardless of whether some, none or all of those prospects ultimately pan out, there will be no filling the shoes of the 26-year-old superstar Machado.

"This is a bittersweet day for the Orioles and our club. We watched Manny grow up in our franchise over the past eight years, we all know what an exceptional talent he is," executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "From the great plays he made to his elite hitting, he's always going to be an important part of this club's history."

Since first hitting the big leagues at 19 during the Orioles' 2012 run to the postseason, Machado has been one of the faces of the franchise and a key cog in three playoff appearances over the past five years. A fan favorite, Gold Glove winner, All-Star and a guy who matured enough to come into his own on and off the field, deftly answering trade questions and handling the spotlight everywhere he went this season.

Remembering Machado's top Orioles moments

Machado, drafted third overall by the O's in 2010, spent the past seven seasons in the big leagues and is a free agent at the end of the season, expected to warrant a record deal. With the last-place Orioles headed into a rebuild, he was their biggest -- but far from only -- viable candidate to be dealt in advance of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Showalter fondly recalls Machado's O's tenure

Tweet from @Orioles: #ThanksManny pic.twitter.com/CGOdRpvDZD

"Today is the start of the rebuilding process," Duquette said. "Trading Manny is our first step in a multi-dimensional strategy to build a competitive club in the future."

That strategy involves much more than trades, as Duquette mentioned that ownership is committed to investing in the international market, beefing up scouting and analytics and strengthening several other components of baseball operations.

"The clubs that have been through it recently have given us an intrinsic road map of what to do. ... I think we have a good idea of what it takes to be consistently good," said Duquette, whose contract is up at the end of the year.

"Everybody understands some of the changes that we need to make. Orioles fans should know how deeply committed we are to making the important adjustments. Like I've said before, my heart is in Baltimore and I'd like to make the Orioles into a top contending organization again. Today is a new direction for the organization. I'm glad to be helping the club go in that new direction."

Without Machado, the Orioles are expected to move Tim Beckham to his original position at shortstop. The long-term answer may be more difficult to find and is part of several questions facing the club, which will also look to trade closer Zach Britton, center fielder Adam Jones and reliever Brad Brach to help accelerate the rebuilding process.

Duquette confirmed that the trade interest in Britton is heating up, saying several clubs have "renewed" their interest in the lefty this past week and it looks like he will be the next likely player to be moved.

O's will be central figure in Trade Deadline talk

Of the Machado haul, Diaz is considered the centerpiece. Ranked as Los Angeles' No. 4 prospect and the No. 84 prospect in the game by MLB Pipeline, Diaz is fresh off an impressive performance at Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, becoming the second player to homer twice in the showcase's 20-year history. He's currently playing at Double-A Tulsa.

"We like the depth of the Dodgers' package, we like the quality of the Dodgers package, and we like Yusniel Diaz," Duquette said.

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

Bannon was ranked as the Dodgers' No. 27 prospect and Kremer was No. 28. The 22-year-old Bannon is batting .296/.402/.559 with 17 doubles, six triples, 20 home runs and 61 RBIs in 89 games with Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga. Kremer had recently been promoted to Double-A. The 22-year-old had a 3.30 ERA and 114 strikeouts in 79 innings at Rancho Cucamonga this season. Pop, 21, is a combined 1-2 with a 1.04 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in 30 relief appearances between Class A Great Lakes and Rancho Cucamonga.

Valera is the oldest of the group at 26 and has appeared in 26 games for Los Angeles this season, going 5-for-29. He's hit .284/.350/.433 in 56 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City. The O's tried to acquire Valera this spring with no luck. He was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, with the other four players headed to Double-A Bowie.

Tweet from @Orioles: Retweet to welcome @YusnielDiaz17, @RBannon4, @BreyvicV, @DJ_KREY6, and @pop_zach to #Birdland! pic.twitter.com/oEkeWwF1AF

While news leaked Tuesday night of an agreement, the official word was delayed as the O's looked over medicals. Duquette said it was a rigorous process, given that six players were involved, and that it wasn't concerning despite reports that the deal had hit a snag.

"The expectation that everyone had was this deal was done when we were still in the process created a timeline that we couldn't meet," he said. "We thought it was important for Manny to represent the Orioles in the All-Star Game."

That was also important to Machado, who walked off the field Tuesday knowing that it was likely for the final time in black and orange.

"Clubs have to make the hard decisions," Duquette said, "and when you do that, you can be rewarded in the future."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

Baltimore Orioles, Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Diaz, Dean Kremer, Manny Machado, Zach Pop, Breyvic Valera

5 biggest Trade Deadline blockbusters

MLB.com

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline was instituted in 1986. For the six decades prior, the Deadline was June 15. So the history of the Deadline, as we know it, is relatively short. But that doesn't mean it lacks dramatic deals.

Some Deadline deals are overrated. Some are understated. Some move the needle immediately and some are only appreciated with the beneficial lens of retrospect.

The July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline was instituted in 1986. For the six decades prior, the Deadline was June 15. So the history of the Deadline, as we know it, is relatively short. But that doesn't mean it lacks dramatic deals.

Some Deadline deals are overrated. Some are understated. Some move the needle immediately and some are only appreciated with the beneficial lens of retrospect.

Here, with the help of hindsight, are my picks for the trade game's five biggest July Earth-shakers:

1. Angels get Tex … and so much more
Date: July 29, 2008
Details: Mark Teixeira to the Angels; Casey Kotchman and Minor Leaguer Stephen Marek to the Braves

It has been nine years since former general manager Tony Reagins made this trade for the Halos, and the club is still feeling the positive effects to this day.

Reagins was looking for a big bat to pair with that of Vladimir Guerrero and further improve an Angels team that had the best record in baseball. Teixeira, an impending free agent whom the Angels had unsuccessfully tried to acquire from Texas a year earlier, was merely a short-term solution, and parting with Kotchman, who was under wraps through 2011, was difficult. But to say the deal worked out is an understatement.

Teixeira was everything the Angels could have possibly hoped for him to be down the stretch. In 54 games, he had a .358/.449/.632 slash line with 13 homers. The Angels advanced to the American League Division Series against the Red Sox, and Teixeira continued to contribute, going 7-for-15 with four walks and four runs scored.

Alas, the Angels lost that series. And that offseason, they lost Teixeira to a Yankees team that signed him to an eight-year, $180 million contract.

But this was back in the days when you could acquire a player midseason and still get Draft pick compensation if he departed in free agency the following offseason. Teixeira was a Type A free agent, so when the Yankees signed him, they forfeited the 25th overall pick in the 2009 Draft to the Angels.

And that's how the Angels basically turned Kotchman into Mike Trout.

Video: MLB executives look back on Trout falling in Draft

2. The Big Unit heads to Houston
Date: July 31, 1998
Details: Randy Johnson to the Astros; Freddy Garcia, Carlos Guillen and a player to be named (John Halama) to the Mariners

Certainly, some Astros fans would label this deal a Deadline dud, given the impact Garcia, Guillen and Halama went on to have with the Mariners (they combined for 33.3 WAR in a Seattle uniform) and the fact that the Astros did not go on to win the World Series.

Again, though, we're talking about blockbusters here -- deals that shook up the industry and then delivered on their stated intent. The Big Unit was brought in as the finishing touch on a loaded Astros team, and you can argue that no midseason acquisition has delivered in a bigger way than Johnson did in those two months in Houston. Those National League lineups didn't know what hit 'em, as Johnson went 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA in 11 starts, giving up just 12 runs on 57 hits with 26 walks and 116 strikeouts in 84 1/3 innings. He went on to allow just three earned runs with 17 strikeouts in 14 NL Division Series innings spread over two starts, but he got only two total runs of support in those games, both losses. The Astros won 102 games that year but were ousted in the NLDS.

Video: HOU@PIT: Johnson notches first strikeout as an Astro

Hey, don't blame the Big Unit. He did what he came to do. And the other great thing about this trade is it quite literally was a Deadline deal. Seattle's Woody Woodward and Houston's Gerry Hunsicker agreed to it one minute before midnight, and Hunsicker called the league office with 30 seconds to go.

3. Brewers make a big deal for a big man
Date: July 7, 2008
Details: CC Sabathia to the Brewers; Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Rob Bryson and a player to be named -- Michael Brantley -- to the Indians

Ultimately, this turned out to be a great baseball trade for both parties.

When a team makes a major Deadline splash, it can only hope for its return to be half as effective as Sabathia was for the Brew Crew. Remember: At the time, the Brewers had not been to the postseason since 1982, and they were a half-game behind the Cardinals in the NL Wild Card race. So merely crossing that October threshold was everything, and Sabathia put them on his back and took them there.

Sabathia pitched an absurd 130 2/3 regular-season innings for Milwaukee in 83 days. He threw seven complete games, including three shutouts, and allowed just 24 earned runs in all. He made each of his last three starts on three days' rest.

Video: Lee grounds into a double play to end the game

Of course, Milwaukee was rather quickly cast out of the NLDS by the Phillies, so perhaps Brewers fans look at the player Brantley (who was added to the deal only if Milwaukee made the playoffs) has become and feel a tinge of frustration. Especially since the Brewers did not recoup a first-round Draft pick when Sabathia signed with the Yankees (whose first-round pick instead went to the Angels, as mentioned above).

But to say the Brew Crew extracted full value out of Sabathia in the second half would be an understatement.

4. Hooray for Mannywood
Date: July 31, 2008
Details: Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers; Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris (from L.A.) and Craig Hansen and Brandon Moss (from Boston) to the Pirates; Jason Bay to the Red Sox

Seriously, how fun was the summer of '08 in baseball's swap market?

The Red Sox were understandably fed up with Manny's act, especially after he told reporters in the days leading up to the trade, "The Red Sox don't deserve a player like me." What followed was this three-way swap in which the price paid by the Dodgers was negligible in light of the impact Ramirez provided to the middle of their order.

Was Ramirez's act in Boston, where he feigned a knee injury and basically quit on his team, tiresome? Yes. But did he change the scope of a season in L.A.? Absolutely. In 53 games, Manny turned Hollywood into Mannywood by contributing a ridiculous .396/.489/.743 slash line with 17 home runs in 53 games, as the Dodgers won the NL West.

In the playoffs, Ramirez had a .520/.667/1.080 line, helping the Dodgers to their first postseason series win in 20 years before they lost to the eventual World Series champion Phillies in the NLCS.

Despite playing just two months in the NL, Ramirez finished fourth in NL MVP Award voting. That's a blockbuster acquisition, regardless of the events that preceded and followed the deal.

5 (tie). A Cespedes for the rest of us
Date:
July 31, 2015
Details: Yoenis Cespedes to the Mets; Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa to the Tigers

Plenty of drama preceded this deal, and I know what you're thinking. Drama? With the Mets? But yes, it's true. Two days earlier, the whole Carlos Gomez non-trade episode, which led to Wilmer Flores tearing up on the field and Sandy Alderson publicly bemoaning social media's impact on the trade process. It was awkward and ugly.

But for the Mets, it couldn't have worked out much better. They pivoted to the rental in Cespedes, who was having a solid-but-not-spectacular season in Detroit. On the surface, it looked risky, given Cespedes' streakiness, but the Mets caught him at just the right moment. For the next six weeks, Cespedes obliterated NL pitching with 17 homers, 10 doubles, three triples and a 1.048 OPS. He cooled off the last couple weeks of September, but he nonetheless received some down-ballot NL MVP Award love and was a central figure in the Mets' surge toward the World Series. Afterward, they decided to keep him around.

Video: MIA@NYM: Cespedes sends a mammoth shot to second deck

Fulmer, meanwhile, was hardly the most touted pitcher in the Mets' system, but he's obviously proven to be an excellent return piece for the Tigers, winning last year's AL Rookie of the Year Award.

5 (tie). Miller Time
Date:
July 31, 2016
Details: Andrew Miller to the Indians; Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, J.P. Feyereisen and Ben Heller to the Yankees

Another recent trade is already being pointed to as a game-changer in the industry, in terms of how controllable, high-leverage relief help is viewed and valued at the Deadline. The Indians knew they had a need for Miller in their bullpen, which is why they broke from their typical small-market shyness to pony up some prized prospects to land a stud reliever. But it wasn't until both Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar were eliminated from their postseason picture because of injuries that the Tribe really understood how important Miller was for them.

Video: WS2016 Gm4: Miller passes K-Rod for postseason record

From the day Miller arrived, manager Terry Francona employed him expertly, thrusting him into games as early as the sixth inning to put a pause on opposing lineups in spots where the game could have teetered either way. And then with his rotation ravaged by injuries but off days presenting bullpen possibilities that simply aren't available in-season, Francona used the lanky lefty for a postseason relief record of 19 1/3 innings as the Indians advanced all the way to Game 7 of the World Series. They simply wouldn't have made it that far without their new bullpen weapon.

Here are other trades that merit mentioning

Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs in 2016: "If not now, when?" That was Theo Epstein's rationale for renting Chapman on a Cubs club already clearly October-bound. He saw Chapman as the finishing piece, and he was right -- even if Chapman himself wasn't able to finish off Game 7.

Video: WS2016 Gm7: Chapman retires Lindor to end the 9th

Fred McGriff to the Braves in 1993: The Braves were eight games back of the Giants (remember when those two were weirdly both in the NL West?) when they swung this swap. McGriff helped take care of that with a 1.004 OPS in 68 games down the stretch.

Curt Schilling to the D-backs in 2000: Arizona gave up Travis Lee, Omar Daal, Vicente Padilla and Nelson Figueroa for a year-plus of control of the guy who would pair with Johnson to bring them a World Series title a year later.

Bobby Bonilla to the Pirates in 1986: Another in which the biggest rewards would be reaped later. In exchange for a serviceable pitcher in Jose DeLeon, the Buccos acquired a guy who would win four straight Silver Slugger Awards from 1988-91 and finish in the top three of the NL MVP Award voting in '90 and '91.

Bartolo Colon to the Expos in 2001: A blockbuster in how it turned out for the "seller," as the Indians' return of "Lee Stevens and prospects" netted them Cliff Lee, Grady Sizemore and Brandon Phillips.

Teixeira to the Braves in 2007: Much like the Colon trade, it was a franchise shaper for the seller, with the Rangers bringing back Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison, all of whom would play a big role in their back-to-back AL pennants in 2010 and '11.

Mark McGwire to the Cardinals in 1997: Big Mac arrived as a rental, but he signed an extension just before season's end and went on to break Roger Maris' single-season home run record with the Cardinals the next summer.

Doug Fister to the Tigers in 2011: A pretty low-profile trade by the Tigers at the time, but Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA down the stretch to seal the first of Detroit's four straight division titles.

Carlos Beltran to the Astros in 2004: They gave up Octavio Dotel and John Buck in this three-team trade and brought in a bat that would hit 31 homers for them down the stretch, including eight in the NLDS and NLCS.

Video: 2004 NLCS Gm4: Beltran hits eighth homer of playoffs

Cliff Lee to the Phillies in '09 and the Rangers in '10: Take your pick. In both instances, he was awesome in October to help get his teams to the World Series.

Orlando Cabrera to the Red Sox in 2004: Who would have thought trading Nomar Garciaparra would be the key to the Red Sox ending their 86-year title drought?

July 26 and 28, 2015: The Royals made two separate deals for Johnny Cueto from the Reds and Ben Zobrist from the A's. Taken in total, this was July activity that proved to be an October difference-maker for the world champs. 

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Showalter fondly recalls Machado's O's tenure

MLB.com

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

The best players ever traded in July

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

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

Dodgers land Machado in blockbuster with O's

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

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

Padres have trade chips to swap for 2019 run

Ross, Hand among SD's most valuable pieces; Preller seeking MLB-ready bat
MLB.com

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have a lot to learn during the second half of the 2018 season.

Which offensive pieces are part of their future? Which rotation pieces are part of their future? And which pieces from elsewhere can they acquire to become a part of that future?

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres have a lot to learn during the second half of the 2018 season.

Which offensive pieces are part of their future? Which rotation pieces are part of their future? And which pieces from elsewhere can they acquire to become a part of that future?

The final question will take center stage over the next two weeks, as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. Here's a look at how things might unfold.

Current status: Sellers
In mid-June, the Padres climbed within four games of .500, and they found themselves on the fringe of the National League West race. A month later, they've long since been knocked from contention.

But all along, the Padres eyed 2018 as a season to build for the future. They have the chance to do so at this year's Deadline. With a handful of useful chips, general manager A.J. Preller will do his best to add to an already stacked farm system.

Video: Kirby Yates is having a career year for the Padres

What they are seeking
MLB Pipeline rates the Padres' system as the best in baseball. But Preller is greedy when it comes to prospects, and he's going to look to bolster an already-deep farm with a high-end name or two -- preferably a hitter.

Things are going to get crowded on the 40-man roster this winter. That makes it unlikely Preller adds a player who needs to be placed on that roster -- unless that player is big league ready. But big league-ready hitting talent is expected to be at the top of Preller's list.

What they have to offer
The Padres find themselves largely in the same position as they did last season. They have a valuable asset in closer Brad Hand. But he's under team control for a long time (now through 2021 following his offseason contract extension). They're not going to part with Hand readily. And if their high price isn't met, they're content to hold onto him.

Also like last season, San Diego has other valuable bullpen pieces and one mid-rotation right-hander available. Craig Stammen and Kirby Yates are trade bait out of the 'pen, but both are under team control after this season. Starter Tyson Ross, on the other hand, is a free agent after this year. In a thin market for rotation help, Ross' name will be thrown around plenty.

Video: Tyson Ross putting up solid numbers this season

Possible scenario
The Astros and Padres were linked regarding a possible Hand deal last year. It never came to fruition. In fact, things cooled off between the two clubs in the week leading up to the Trade Deadline. It never got all that serious.

Those talks will almost certainly be rekindled this summer -- if they haven't been already. Hand appears to be a perfect fit on a Houston roster with a loaded lineup and rotation. Things worked out just fine for the World Series champion Astros last season. But they might not be willing to take the same risks this year. The Padres' asking price will likely include a package of prospects led by at least one big name.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Brad Hand, Tyson Ross