BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Days after Manny Machado wore an Orioles jersey for the last time, the All-Star shortstop issued a statement thanking the organization and fans.
First addressing his “Baltimore family”, Machado wrote: “Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!!”
The 26-year-old then thanked the O’s: “To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day.”
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To my Baltimore family, I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out how I would say goodbye but there wasn’t an easy way to do it. I first joined this organization at the age of 17 and these past eight years have far exceeded anything I ever could’ve imagined. Throughout the ups and downs, you embraced me unconditionally and you took a kid from Miami and brought me up as one of your own. I’ve enjoyed my time here and you all have played a big part in that!! Thank you Birdland! You are forever in my heart! To the Baltimore Orioles, it has truly been a blessing to put on that uniform every day. To the Angelos Family & Dan Duquette, thank you for making my dreams come true!!! To Buck and the coaching staff, thank you for your commitment and dedication to making me the best player and teammate I can possibly be…I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. To my teammates, we’ve shared some amazing times with lots of memories & friendships that I’ll cherish forever. Schoopy, I love you bro and I know you will carry the torch!!! ! Much love always, Manny #13
The Los Angeles Dodgers landed Machado in a trade Wednesday night. In exchange, the Orioles received five prospects: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-handers Dean Kremer and Zach Pop, and third basemen Rylan Bannon and Breyvic Valera. Diaz is a 21-year-old outfielder who hit two home runs in Sunday’s Future’s All-Star game — only the second player ever to pull off such a feat.
The move had been anticipated for some time as the Orioles have struggled to win games all season long. Machado, on the other hand, was off to the best start of his career offensively. He entered the All-Star break leading the Orioles with a .315 batting average, 24 home runs, and 65 RBI. With his contract set to expire at the end of the season and most experts believing the Orioles wouldn’t be able to match the lucrative offers Machado is expected to get in the offseason, it was all but certain the team would trade him for a set of up-and-comers.
The Orioles take on the Blue Jays in Toronto Friday night while the Dodgers will face off against the Brewers in Milwaukee.