Morry Gash/Associated Press
New Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado is happy to finally be off the trade block.
Prior to his first game with the Dodgers since getting traded to L.A. from the Baltimore Orioles for five prospects, Machado commented on how it feels to be with his new team, per ESPN.com’s Bradford Doolittle: “I’m relieved. Relieved it finally got done. It’s exciting to be here. It’s a great group. Great organization, with a lot of baseball history. I’ll just come here and be myself and try to fit into the club around here.”
In a 6-4 road win over the Milwaukee Brewers, Machado enjoyed a solid debut, going 2-for-3 with two walks batting out of the No. 2 spot in the lineup.
Since Machado can become a free agent at the end of the season, it is unclear if he has a future with the Dodgers beyond 2018.
The four-time All-Star isn’t looking too far ahead, but he has lofty goals for his time in Los Angeles: “I want to win. At the end of the day, I want to win a ring. Everyone in there wants to win a ring. Whatever I can to do to make the process better or easier for the team, I’m all for it.”
With one of Major League Baseball’s best hitters in the fold, the Dodgers look like the clear favorite to reach the World Series in the National League.
According to OddsShark, the Dodgers are the top choice in the NL to win the World Series at +850 (17-2). They are also the fourth choice overall behind the Houston Astros, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
The Dodgers reached the World Series last season and went all the way to the seventh game before falling to the Astros.
Machado provides a significant boost to an already solid offense, as he is hitting .318 with 24 home runs and 65 RBI this season.
By virtue of Friday’s win, the Dodgers remain atop the NL West, and they trail the Chicago Cubs by three games for the best record in the National League.