Manny Machado was the biggest piece moved around the 2018 trade deadline and the Dodgers paid up for his services. The Dodgers shipped a whopping five prospects and players to the Baltimore Orioles: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, relief prospect Zach Pop, pitcher Dean Kremer, third baseman Rylan Bannon, and journeyman Breyvic Valera.
Machado was pretty much what the Dodgers paid for and put up numbers that were in line with his career norms. In the playoffs, however, Machado batted an underwhelming .227 and did not give the production the Dodgers needed when they needed it most.
Machado then proceeded to sign a 10-year, $300 million with the division rival San Diego Padres, where he has underwhelmed there. He has hit 9 home runs (most of them coming against the Dodgers) and has only been a 105 wRC+ bat. He has been worth 1.2 WAR this season. For reference, a rebounding Corey Seager has been worth 1.5 WAR so far this season.
Now, let us take a look at how the prospects involved have done in the Baltimore system:
With the Orioles Double-A Bowie squad, Yusniel Diaz has been pretty awful. He was once a consensus top-ten Dodger prospect and has not delivered on his promise with the Orioles yet. He has posted a 94 wRC+ and a paltry .651 OPS as a member of their organization. He ranks second in the Orioles system.
Pop is a very intriguing bullpen prospect but is someone who just underwent Tommy John surgery to repair UCL damage. He has pitched to the tune of a 1.97 ERA and 2.75 FIP in 32 innings with Double-A Bowie. He is currently ranked as the 19th-best prospect in the Baltimore system.
Kremer has been pretty solid inside the Orioles organization and has moved up from High-A Frederick to Double-A Bowie this season. He has posted a 4.19 ERA and 3.11 FIP across both levels and has posted an elite-level 29.0 K%. He has pretty good upside at this stage and checks in as the Orioles ninth-ranked prospect.
After tearing it up in the Dodgers’ system, Bannon has been underwhelming, just like some of the other prospects they shipped in the Machado deal. Bannon has posted a 117 wRC+ in 51 games with Double-A Bowie.
The only player in the package to have made the major leagues prior to the trade, Valera is currently a middling player in the Giants’ system. In 86 major league plate appearances, Valera has a .529 OPS and 49 wRC+. Yikes.
The Dodgers did well here. Pop has some legit potential for a back end of some bullpen. Bannon has potential. Valera may never see major league action again. Kremer has some legitimate number 3 stuff. Yusniel Diaz, viewed as the gem of the package, has yet to prove why.
Although the Dodgers did not win the World Series, Machado was a big reason of why they made it there. Without Machado, they very well could not have won the division. They probably would not have without his bat and stellar defense display. It is important to look back on it and realize that the Dodgers did not come anywhere near mortgaging their future for a few months of a superstar bat.