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Looking Back At The Manny Machado Trade

In 2018, the Orioles began their rebuild and traded star shortstop Manny Machado. Now 6 years later, let’s look back at the blockbuster trade. As the Orioles stumbled to the All-Star break in 2018, it was clear it was time to blow up the team. For the Orioles, it was time to trade their stars and start to build up the farm system. The biggest name made available by the Orioles was perennial All-Star and gold glover Manny Machado. On July 18th, 2018, the Orioles parted ways with their star, sending him to the Dodgers for 5 prospects. Let’s look back on the Orioles return and see how the prospects turned out.

Looking Back At The Manny Machado Trade

The Pieces That Didn’t Pan Out

Two players the Orioles received in the trade, did not provide much to the organization, Breyvic Valeria and Zach Pop. Valaria, an infielder, was 26 and showed some promise in the minor leagues. However, he only got limited opportunities in the major leagues and never became a valuable player for the Orioles. He spent only the second half of the 2018 season with the Orioles, playing in just 12 games, before heading to the Yankees in 2019. Similarly, Zach Pop, one of two pitchers the Orioles received, never made an impact on the major league squad. He never appeared in the majors for the Orioles. He was in the system through the 2019 season, and since then has bounced around the league.

Players Who Were Just “Okay”

The next two players the Orioles received were on the Orioles Minor League teams for a while, but never made the step into consistent MLB playing time.

Yusniel Diaz, the top prospect coming over in the trade, was a big-time hitter. Diaz was the 84th-ranked prospect for a reason, he was tearing up the minor leagues with an average well north of .300 during his time on the Dodgers Double-A team. He continued that during his time with the Orioles and was ranked their number 1 prospect in 2019 by Although he struggled in Triple-A initially, he eventually found his footing and got the call to the majors. Unfortunately, Diaz struck out in his only appearance for the Orioles and was soon after removed from the 40-man Roster, and he elected free agency. Since then, Diaz has remained a solid minor-league player in multiple organizations but has yet to break through as a major leaguer.

Rylan Bannon, a versatile infielder, was a good minor leaguer who could not break into the MLB. Bannon came into the Orioles organization as a solid prospect. He put up solid numbers throughout all levels of the Orioles system, slowly climbing the ranks. He was an everyday starter throughout his time in the minors, and in 2022 got a chance with the Orioles. Bannon played in just 4 games and went 2-15. He was waived shortly after his stint in the majors and now finds himself as a solid Triple-A player with the Mets.

Although these promising pieces never panned out, one player has become a key player for the Orioles.

The Blossomed Star From The Trade

The last player the Orioles received was Dean Kremer. Kremer, a starting pitcher, was already in Double-A when he arrived in the Orioles organization. By, 2020 he was regularly starting for the major-league squad. Kremer’s first 2 major league seasons were very rocky, having just a 1-8 record in 2020 and 2021 combined. However, in 2022, Kremer turned it around and became the best player the Orioles received in the Manny Machado trade. Kremer had a 3.23 ERA in 2022 and was a key reason the Orioles made an improbable run at the playoffs. In 2023, it was much of the same for Kremer, who had a solid 4.12 ERA, but more importantly, pitched over 170 innings,  becoming a rock in the Oriole’s rotation. Kremer also took the mound when the Orioles clinched the AL East for the first time in 9 years, pitching 5 solid innings.

So far, in 2024, Kremer has again been ultra-solid for the Orioles and continues to prove himself as a legitimate starter.

The Overall Takeaway

Although the Orioles received just one impact player from the Manny Machado trade, it should still be considered a success. When trading for prospects, it is very hard to know if any of them will turn out as good MLB players. The Orioles managed to get a really good player, Dean Kremer, who continues to get better. Although Kremer is all that remains from the franchise-altering trade, the Orioles still got their money’s worth from this trade. It kicked off their rebuild, and they ended up with multiple high draft picks and drafted stars like Adley Rutschman or Gunnar Henderson.

Main Photo Credits: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports


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