Orioles third baseman Manny Machado could miss Saturday's annual FanFest because he's committed to be with his best friend for the birth of his first child.
Machado and Oakland Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso became fast friends since meeting in 2009. Alonso's fiancé, Amber Harmon, is due to deliver the couple's first child, a baby boy, later this week, according to a source.
There is still hope that Machado could attend FanFest, and the Orioles remain committed to working to help him attend, even if it's just for a few hours.
For Machado -- who was raised by his mother in a single-parent home in Miami -- Alonso and his family have long been like a second family since the two met. Machado and Alonso is more than extended family. He's also his brother-in-law. Machado married Alonso's sister, Yainee, last offseason.
"I grew up without a father in my life," Machado told USA Today in 2013, "and I see how Yonder and Yainee grew up with their family. I want that. I've always wanted that. … Family means everything to me, and now I can say we are all family."
FanFest is the one offseason event that all players under team control are required to attend and few exceptions are granted. Right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez and recently acquired slugger Mark Trumbo were given permission to miss the event because of previous commitments.
When Machado's name didn't appear on their autograph schedule released Friday, a club source said that while they couldn't confirm his attendance, the team was doing everything possible to accommodate his schedule and still ensure his participation in the event.
Because he wasn't confirmed, Machado's name couldn't be placed on the FanFest autograph schedule, but he could be added if he is able to attend.
The 23-year-old budding superstar is coming off his second All-Star and Gold Glove season, and is arguably the team's biggest draw among its fan base, especially now that first baseman Chris Davis is a free agent.