In every trade analysis, we look for winners and losers. In baseball, especially in trades involving prospects, we don’t usually know who won the trade right off the bat (pun intended). Manny Machado, the young phenom who at the age of 25 has been an All-Star four times and has won two Gold Glove awards, has been shipped to the Dodgers for five prospects, as I’m sure you already know. Considering only one of these players has made it past Double-A, it is hard to tell if the deal was worth it for the Orioles.
There are three possibilities for the outcome of a trade: win-win, win-lose, lose-lose. Rarely is a trade a lose-lose deal, but it most certainly can happen. A win-win is what both teams in a deal hope for, but a win-lose is the most common of trade outcomes. The Machado deal seems to already have the Orioles in the “win” column, as Machado was highly unlikely to resign with the team at the end of the season when he will be a free agent, thus making anything good done by the any of the five players they received in this deal will have made the team better off than they would have been getting nothing for him.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, may only have Machado for the rest of this season, as he is a free agent at the season’s end. If Machado walks, the Dodgers only possible “win” outcome would be a World Series win this season. Nothing else would be adequate. If Machado does decide to stay in Los Angeles, then this just buys the team time, as the only way for them to win this trade (without trading Machado) is for him to lead them to a World Series title.
Yusniel Diaz is the star of this trade for the Orioles and was the cornerstone piece in them feeling comfortable shipping Machado across the country. Diaz, hitting .314 with a .905 OPS and 6 home runs, 30 RBI, and 36 runs scored, hit two home runs in the 2018 MLB futures game, the second person ever to do that. The first was Alfonso Soriano. Diaz, along with three of the other players will be sent to the Orioles’ Double-A affiliate, the Bowie Baysox. Although not as acclaimed as Diaz, Zach Pop is someone who can be a future star as well. He’s pitched 43.1 innings (split between Single-A and Double-A) while keeping a 1.04 ERA, a .168 BAA, and averaging over a strikeout per inning.
The Orioles got some potentially good players, the Dodgers bolstered their chances of winning it all, and only time will tell for both teams who really was the winner in this trade; however, there is one team who has outright won this trade by a landslide as of now, and that is the team with four new players coming to town, Bowie Baysox.