On this day in 2018: Orioles trade Manny Machado.

The Orioles trade set the tone for the rebuild thanks to one player but at the same time, made major changes to the way the team drafted prospects as demonstrated in the last 5 seasons.

On July 18, 2018, the Orioles traded Mnany Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers and received the following players: Zach Pop, Dean Kremer, Rylan Bannon, and what was supposed to be the centerpiece of the trade, Yusniel Diaz.

However, out of all of the players, Dean Kremer has turned out to be the best player from that trade as he has finally turned a corner and has won 10 games this season for the Orioles. Yusniel Diaz had a cup of coffee with the Orioles in 2022 then elected free agency after refusing an assignment to Norfolk and eventually returning to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dean Kremer got off to a very rough start with the Orioles, starting off 9-15 which included a 0-7 run in 2021, but has since bounced back as he currently has a 10 win – 4 loss season with 100 strikeouts.

Yusniel Diaz was supposed to be the centerpiece of the deal as he was a top 50 prospect and it was a first for the Orioles as they did not have a top 100 prospect in their farm system at the time. While he did put up respectable numbers (Frederick, Aberdeen, Bowie) in 2019 as he hit .265 (84/358), 11 home runs, and 55 Runs batted in. He would fall hard in 2021 (Bowie and Norfolk), hitting .161 (37/253), with 5 home runs, and 22 Runs batted in.

Yusniel Diaz sadly did not pan out for the Orioles in the Machado deal. He finished with 121 total hits, 16 home runs, and 77 RBI.

Zach Pop and Rylan Bannon went to other organizations as they did not pan out for the organization over the years that the Orioles had them. But however, this trade set the stage for the impending overhaul the Orioles would undertake from 2018-2022. In 2019, Mike Elias came on board, began to clean house, and build up the farm system from the ground up.

While many fans were displeased with the trade and the fact the Orioles did not offer him a large contract as the fans wanted the roster to be built around him, I personally believe he was becoming a cancer to the team. Manny Machado, while a great power hitter, he was becoming full of himself and having an “all about me” belief and personality. Fans do salute him for the hard work he did put in as a member of the team, he accused the team of not “showing enough love” when he signed a mega contract with the San Diego Padres.

I wholeheartedly believe that this trade set the tone for the Orioles farm system being built up with Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson coming in 2019, Heston Kjerstad and Jordan Westburg in 2020, Colton Cowser and Connor Norby in 2021, and soon, Jackson Holliday and Dylan Beavers in 2022. The Orioles have been drafting extremely well in the Mike Elias era of general management as it made the Orioles farm system as the strongest in the league. So after all, it’s not at all a huge loss when Manny didn’t return.

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Joshua Leuschner

Orioles/Ravens/Capitals/Terrapins/Inter Miami CF fan. Runs a podcast who tells it like it is (I-95 East Coast Sports Podcast) and loves sports, sports betting (responsibly of course), and finding arcane statistics in professional sports. He is also a devoted classic cartoon enthusiast (1930s rubberhose and 1940s-1960s silver/golden age animation), video game player, Enya enthusiast, devotee of classical music (Mozart, Sibelius, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and others), Hair/Classic/80s Rock fan, beer connoisseur, gym goer, former Slow Pitch Softball Player, and traveler.

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