Manny Machado only player in MLB to play every game this season

Manny Machado played 162 games this season, something Buck Showalter says will become more rare in MLB.

After ending each of his past two seasons prematurely because of injuries, 23-year-old third baseman Manny Machado did something this year that no Oriole had accomplished since Adam Jones in 2012.

For the first time in his young career, Machado played all 162 games — the only major leaguer to accomplish that feat in 2015. Four players did it in each of the previous three seasons.

"I'm blessed to be a part of this team, part of this organization, thankful that they gave me the opportunity to go out there every day and help this team win," said Machado, the ninth Oriole to play every game in a season. "At the end of the day, I've played 162, which is my main goal since the end of spring training."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said as the season waned, he began talking with Machado to gauge the importance of playing every game.

"It's something that he has earned the right to have input on by getting this far and I don't think it's hurting him or the club at this point," Showalter said.

The difficulty of the feat is not lost on Showalter, especially considering the uncertainty surrounding Machado this season as he returned from injury.

"I did tell him this: 'Whatever you do in your career,' and he's got a chance to be a great one, 'the thing you're gonna reach back for and talk to your grandkids about is playing 162 games,'" Showalter said. "Because as we go forward in our game that's going to be very rare, very rare. So I'm real proud of the fact that he's going to be able to attain that."

Before Sunday's game, Machado talked to reporters about his and the team's future, saying he believed that the Orioles should make re-signing slugger Chris Davis the club's No. 1 priority — echoing what Adam Jones said last week.

"From the season we had, going from [losing] Nelson Cruz and losing [Nick] Markakis, we've got to do something. I think our top priority will be signing Davis and try to get a couple more key pieces to stay here as well," said Machado, who ended the season with a .286 average, 35 home runs, 86 RBIs, 102 runs scored and 20 stolen bases. "I think we've just got to get back to where we need to be. We missed a couple of pieces, and that didn't help, and losing Davis is definitely not going to help us."

As for his own contractual situation, Machado will be in his first year of arbitration this winter. He said he'd be open to signing a long-term deal; he's under team control through 2018, the same as Jones.

"Yeah, why not? This is the organization I play for, this is the organization I love," Machado said. "This is the only organization I know. I'd definitely be interested in talking. We'll see what happens when that day comes."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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