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Orioles' Britton named to Sporting News AL All-Star team, Machado edged by Donaldson

Britton made the Sporting News AL All-Star team, but Machado did not.

Orioles closer Zach Britton received his first postseason honor Wednesday when he was named to the Sporting News American League All-Star team.

Britton, who converted all 47 of his save opportunities this past season, was selected for the team’s relief pitcher spot. The team was selected by a panel of 29 American League executives before the postseason began.

Britton will also likely receive votes for the AL Cy Young Award, which is selected by a vote of eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Britton was the only Orioles player to make the team, but third baseman Manny Machado received votes at both third base and shortstop, which hurt his chances of edging Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays at third base.

Machado is the Orioles’ everyday third baseman, but he made 43 starts at shortstop in 2016, filling in admirably when Gold Glove starter J.J. Hardy was out with a foot injury in the first half of the season.

Machado had the best season of his young career, reaching career highs in runs (105), hits (188), homers (37), RBIs (96) and batting average (.294), while totaling 16 defensive runs saved between third base and shortstop.

Voters who selected Machado at shortstop instead of third base likely did so in order to acknowledge both Donaldson and Machado. While Sporting News did not reveal the voting results, Donaldson’s margin of victory was a small one.

Both Donaldson and Machado were among the top seven AL position players in wins above replacement (WAR), with Donaldson ranking fourth with 7.4 and Machado seventh with 6.7.

Both should receive votes for the AL MVP award, which is selected by the BBWAA.

Orioles outfielder-designated hitter Mark Trumbo, who was named Sporting News AL Comeback Player of the Year earlier this week, also received votes for one of the team’s three outfield spots.

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