Earlier tonight, the Baltimore Orioles traded shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers : outfielder Yusniel Diaz; right-handers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop; and infielders Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera.
In order to get a better feel for the youngsters and the trade as a whole, we asked Baseball Prospectus prospect writer Wilson Karaman a few questions. You can follow Karaman on Twitter here, and make sure to read him as part of BP's prospect coverage.
Did the Orioles get fair value for Machado?
I think so, yes! I like this deal on both sides. They got a nice headliner in Diaz, and then a solid smattering of secondary pieces with a chance to pan out to additional MLB value. It's a nice mix of quality and quantity,
Is Yusniel Diaz a good enough prospect to merit being the centerpiece?
Absolutely, yes. We had him No. 31 on our midseason Top 50 update released last week, and if I'd had my druthers he'd have been a couple notches higher. I've long been a fan -- wrote about his impressive ability to make adjustments a couple years ago, and he's continued to make them at an impressive clip in the time since. He's a very good hitter, quality athlete, smart player. He's going to be a solid, well-rounded player for a long time.
Who are Dean Kremer and Zach Pop?
Kremer was a guy they threw a little money at in the 14th round in 2016, pitched pretty well after signing, but then struggled through some mechanical adjustments out of the bullpen at high Class A last year. They moved him back to the rotation this season though, and he's pitched really well. Deep arsenal, throws with some deception across his body, which helps the stuff play up. He can get lefties and righties out, non-zero chance to stick in the rotation.
And then the Dodgers drafted Pop in the seventh round last year coming off a forearm scare at Kentucky. He's a prototypical two-pitch reliever, with a big sinking fastball up to 97 and a really hard slider. He's got some work to do refining the latter into a consistent swing-and-miss secondary, but it's a big-league caliber arm.
What about Rylan Bannon?
Bannon has emerged to kind of take the Cal League by storm this season. He was the Dodgers' eighth-rounder last year, strong college performer, kind of a classic profile for that part of the draft.
He's strong and athletic for his size, and -- stop me if you've heard this before -- the Dodgers helped him take advantage of natural loft in his swing to drive the ball more consistently. You can see a little Justin Turner in his swing if you just mildly squint. He's a versatile player with work at both second and third, and he's fast and athletic enough to where you could probably throw him in the outfield and really develop him into a nice utility piece.
Can Breyvic Valera translate on-base chops to the majors?
I'll be as curious as everyone to find out! He's got a great eye, there's little doubt about that. His swing's quick, and he's got good hand-eye coordination. Unclear if he can keep the bat in his hands against big-league pitching, but he can play all over the place, so certainly worth a team like the Orioles finding out.
Where would you rank these players in the Orioles system?
I'd slot Diaz in nominally ahead of Mountcastle at the top of Baltimore's system, though it's probably a coin flip between the two. After that? Man, there's probably a case to be made for Bannon and Kremer both in the 10-15 range?
How does this impact the Dodgers' ability to make another big trade?
Great on that front for L.A. They didn't take on any additional cash, so they've still got at least a little bit of room under the luxury tax threshold, and while L.A.'s system isn't quite as robust as it's been lately, there are still a few premium pieces -- including right-hander Dustin May, who'd been rumored to be in the deal initially -- and some solid depth for them to delve into to fortify the bullpen.
Many thanks to Karaman. You can follow him on Twitter here, and make sure to read him as part of BP's prospect coverage.