The Los Angeles Dodgers are welcoming four-time All-Star shortstop Manny Machado into the team's pennant race.
Los Angeles entered the All-Star break with a narrow half-game lead over second-place Arizona in the NL West. Machado was expected to be dealt by the Baltimore Orioles before the July non-waiver trade deadline, and speculation centered on a swap with LA.
"I had a conversation with Manny. He's a great guy, man, and we would love to have him here," Dodgers All-Star pitcher Kenley Jansen said Tuesday night. "I think the sky's the limit. We can do damage. Let's see what's going to happen."
The Dodgers begin a 10-game road trip out of the All-Star break.
In spite of the media that followed his every move, Machado did his best Tuesday to enjoy himself. He walked the red carpet shirtless in a double-breasted suit, took a couple selfies on the field and smiled through six innings of carefree baseball.
When he was done, Machado peeled off his Orioles uniform then walked out of Nationals Stadium with his family, not bothering to stick around after the game to answer another round of questions about a potential trade that would end his stay in Baltimore.
Machado was the center of attention before and during the first All-Star Game in Washington since 1969. A huge media throng buzzed around his locker prior to batting practice. During BP, Machado joked with Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp outside the cage.
Then came the game. Machado went 0 for 2 -- a fly ball and a popup -- before exiting for a pinch hitter in the sixth inning.
Machado is batting .315 with 24 homers and 65 RBIs.
"Things are getting serious now," Dodgers right-hander Ross Stripling said. "That's the kind of bat and the kind of player that you want in your lineup."
The Dodgers' Matt Kemp, a three-time All-Star, said of Machado: "He's actually one of my favorite players to watch. I hit with him in the offseason two years ago. He's a great player. If that's something that happens I think LA would be excited about it and (it would) definitely help our team win more games."
In his first at-bat Tuesday night, Machado hit a routine fly to Kemp in left field. Then, after Kemp doubled in the second inning, Machado walked to second base and clicked a "selfie" with the player who could be his future teammate.
All the speculation, the repetitive questions and the crowds around his locker couldn't put a damper on the All-Star experience for Machado, who has never played for any big league team but the Orioles.
"It's awesome," Machado said beforehand. "Every time you put on the Oriole uniform it's always a great blessing, and you always want the opportunity to put that on. Just put it on, go play shortstop when I get my name announced. I know there's going to be some Baltimore fans out there, so I'm really looking forward to it."
In exchange for Machado, the Dodgers gave up OF Yusniel Diaz, 3B Rylan Bannon, RHP Dean Kremer, RHP Zach Pop and 2B Breyvic Valera per Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.