Like I have said since Corey Seager went out at the beginning of the season, Manny Machado would be a perfect fit for the Dodgers. Machado is in the last year of his rookie contract and after an ultra slow start the Dodgers, now in first place, should pick up a rental at shortstop to make a push for the offseason. Machado is hitting .315/.387/.585 on the year and that is a big upgrade from their current shortstop, Chris Taylor. What does this mean for the rest of the NL West?
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Rylan Bannon, Yusniel Díaz, Dean Kremer, Zach Pop and Breyvic Valera.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 19, 2018
In one of my previous articles, I said that when it comes to the pennant race, the NL West is going to be a fun division to watch. The Machado trade just made the race in the West much more intriguing… or does it? There has been no clear cut, top dog in the West this year but will this addition change all of that? Here is why I don’t think the Dodgers are now the solid lock for the division. The surging Rockies only lost 3 games in July, starting at 6 games back in the NL West, to just 2 at the All Star Break. With the awakening of the Colorado bats, it makes that club scary in the second half of the season, granted they don’t lose any steam. Led by Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, and Charlie Blackmon, the high speed Rockies seem like they are on a mission to dick punch the competition all the way to October.
The Diamondbacks have led the division 84 days total in the 2018 season. Also, the DBacks have yet to be under .500 this season. After the slump of Paul Goldschmidt in May, he put that gear back into 5th and the Diamondbacks seemed like a team that couldn’t lose. Only being a half game behind the Dodgers at the start of the second half, I think that the DBacks and Dodgers will be fighting for first place all the way to September. If Arizona’s pitching staff continues to dominate (3rd in the NL among team ERA) and the bats stay hot, I will say the Diamondbacks could take the West but by a very small margin.
How do I see the Machado trade panning out? He is merely a rental, he will do his time until his contract is up and sign with a different big market team. However, I did have a thought entertaining the idea that Machado stays in Los Angeles. Imagine this, Turner at third, Machado at short, Seager at second, and Bellinger at first. That is a fucking nasty infield and we all know the Dodgers have the money to make it happen.