Magic Johnson does it again. It’s been quite a 2018 for the business mogul who has much invested in LA’s two biggest sports franchises, the Dodgers and the Lakers.
As Lakers’ president of basketball operations, Johnson was able to land the biggest fish in NBA free agency and the consensus best player in the game in LeBron James this summer, which elevated the Lakers -- who have stuck been in post-Kobe Bryant doldrums -- from average to title contenders overnight.
LeBron James' decision to take his talents to Los Angeles quickly transformed the 16-time NBA champion Lakers into title contenders again at Las Vegas sports books: https://t.co/W3QS2zOXbl
Magic could have chilled from there and walked around poking his chest out. Instead, Magic's Dodgers jump into the fray by landing a Top 5 MLB player in Orioles 26-year-old superstar shortstop Manny Machado.
Most of the baseball world knew by the middle of the All-Star game that Machado’s new destination would be in LA, especially when Machado started taking on-field selfies with his new teammate Matt Kemp.
There was a really cool moment in the second inning of this year's All-Star Game as Manny Machado pulled out his phone and took a selfie at second base with his likely soon-to-be teammate Matt Kemp. https://t.co/WWtXYrROod
"Obviously, it's a bittersweet day for our organization,'' Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Wednesday night. "We watched Manny grow up in our franchise the past eight years. We all know what an exceptional talent he is, from the great plays that he made to his elite hitting. He's always going to be a part of our important part of our club's history.''
Machado is expected to be introduced by the Dodgers in Milwaukee on Friday before they open a series against the Brewers.
Bron and Machado is quite a haul for LA sports.
First @KingJames, now Manny Machado. What a summer for LA sports 😳
Johnson joined the Guggenheim group in purchasing the Dodgers in 2012. He invested $50 million in the move. That provided him with a 2.3 percent share in the franchise and major involvement in decision making when needed. Magic isn’t as involved with the day-to-day activities of the Dodgers as he is with the Lakers, but his name recognition alone allows him much of the blame and the props for his team's circumstances. It also puts an African-American face at the forefront of one of pro sports’ most valuable, popular and respected corporate franchises.
Johnson, who also owned a nearly 5% share of the Lakers, until its sale to Patrick Soon-Shiong in 2010, never played baseball, but his presence as an NBA Hall of Famer, business mogul, and celebrity personality made Dodgers fans feel comfortable that he would make every effort to bring the city its first World Series since 1988.
They fell one game short last season, losing a decisive World Series Game 7 to the Houston Astros, but the Dodgers expect Machado to get them over the top.
@Dodgers acquire Manny Machado from Orioles for 5-player package, @Ken_Rosenthal reports. #MLBOnTheMove https://t.co/gPR9AmXMQD
"We viewed Manny Machado as a big difference-maker,'' Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi said.
Machado is off to the best start of his career offensively, tallying several career-high figures for the season's first half, including home runs (23), RBIs (64), OBP (.384) and OPS (.950), but the Baltimore Orioles knew they needed to get rid of him while his value was high.
They weren’t going to pay him the $300 million that the three-time Gold Glove third baseman turned shortstop would request in free agency at the end of this season. That combined with the fact that the team is doing miserably and looking to rebuild the franchise made his departure inevitable.
The most unreal plays you've ever seen! This kid can do it all! SUBSCRIBE/LIKE I'm always looking for ideas, have one? Drop it in the comments section down below! ALL CLIPS BELONG TO MLB.com
The Yankees were trying to work out a deal for Machado, but the Orioles were reluctant to trade him within the division and the Yankees were hesitant to relinquish any of their young rising stars to acquire the 26-year-old All-Star. So the Dodgers swooped in and made it happen.
The Orioles received five solid prospects: outfielder Yusniel Diaz, right-hander Dean Kremer, third baseman Rylan Bannon, righty Zach Pop and third baseman Breyvic Valera.
And just like that, we're tied again!! Yusniel Diaz crushes his second homer of the game! 💪💪💪 #FuturesGame @Dodgers https://t.co/R1syAfKHqB
The move has Magic Johnson written all over it as the 5-time NBA champion is all about star power, branding and winning. Machado has been in the league since 19 years old and will reach the 200-homer mark sometime next season.
It's official Manny Machado has been traded to the @Dodgers Machado was 1 of 3 players in MLB with 100 HR and 100 2B across the 2015-17 seasons (Nolan Arenado & Brian Dozier)
The Dodgers are in a close race in the NL West, leading Arizona by a half-game going into the second half. The club feels adding a player of Machado’s caliber will bring them one step closer to finally winning that elusive World Series.
Before Magic Johnson arrived in LA, Hollywood was more like Hollowood, void of athletic icons, championship contending teams and the juice that the city used to have when it came to being an electric sports town.
Had the best time with my good friend @JimmyKimmel on Jimmy Kimmel live! Check us out tonight on ABC.
Like he has with most of his business endeavors, from owning movie theatres to Starbucks and Burger King franchises, Magic is hitting home runs as Dodgers co-owner and already brought down the backboard with his acquisition of King James.
Who’s winning like Magic Johnson out here? Johnson is undoubtedly on cloud nine. Both of his teams have made recent moves which will sustain them as serious contenders for the next three to five seasons and he has two of the biggest superstars in each sport under his control. In addition to his involvement with the Dodgers and Lakers, back in 2014, an investment group led by Magic and controlling owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark R. Walter purchased the WNBA franchise Los Angeles Sparks, thus growing Magic’s brand as arguably the premier figure in Los Angeles sports.