Baltimore Orioles

Orioles' Manny Machado, on final stop of pre-deadline tour of contenders, addresses possible future in Philadelphia

Philadelphia — In what’s likely to be the final stop of his pre-trade deadline tour of all the cities — including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — where his services are sought, Orioles shortstop Manny Machado on Wednesday addressed the possibility that he could be a member of the Philadelphia Phillies before long, be it in a trade this month or in free agency this fall.

Well-versed in how to talk around his future, Machado’s one illuminating remark about what will come next for him — other than that he has no idea at this point whether the 24-60 Orioles will even trade him — was his preference for a destination both this summer and going forward.


Said Machado: “Do I want to play for a contending team? Yeah. Do I want to go to the playoffs? Yeah. Do I want to win a ring? Of course I do. Those are all things every baseball player wants, so for me to go somewhere and help out a team, I don’t know if it’ll be here or it’ll be somewhere else, but I’m going to do everything in my power to help the team out.”

Four weeks ahead of baseball’s July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, Machado’s future is one of the game’s hottest topics. He’s helped boost his stock by hitting .311 with 21 home runs and 39 extra-base hits this year, evidence that the constant speculation about his future isn’t getting to him.


Machado said the only reason he knows it’s July is because his 26th birthday is on Friday.

“We just go out there and play,” he said. “It’s Groundhog Day for us every day. We don’t even think about it like that. Just go out there and play every day. Every day is a new day. Every day is the same day. You’ve got to just be ready to play.”

He said that approach is helped by letting his agent deal with contract talk, and trying to enjoy his time with the only major league team and teammates he’s ever known.

On questions specific to a possible future in Philadelphia, Machado dropped a few hints. He was complimentary of the team from his limited view in two games this season.

“They’re a good ballclub,” Machado said. “They’re young. They’re hungry. They want to win. They’ve been impressive. They’ve got a good ballclub over there. But I can’t tell you more about it because they’re on the other side, and we don’t see them that much.”

He said he expects the front office, led by president and former Orioles executive Andy MacPhail, to be aggressive in taking the Phillies forward.

“I know how Andy works, and I’ve seen those guys work,” Machado said. “They’ve turned this [Orioles] organization around. I’m sure they’re going to try to do the same thing on the other side.”

On the question of whether he’ll continue to be a shortstop through free agency, the position he moved to from third base this year, he was unequivocal on shortstop being the position he will sign to play. The Phillies have plenty of young shortstops in J.P. Crawford and Scott Kingery already at that spot.


“I’m playing short,” Machado said. “That’s the position I want to play. That’s the position I know I can play and produce [at]. … I’ve been a shortstop my entire life. I’ve played third base for a couple years. I did well, and I thought I was an elite player at that position, but at the end of the day, I’ve been a shortstop my entire life. I know I can be a way better player as a shortstop than I can at third.”

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Machado hasn’t rated nearly as high in the defensive metrics at shortstop as he has at third base, though there’s a much smaller sample size at his new position and some adjustment period was expected.

One thing he has adjusted to quickly, though, is handling media sessions like these on the road. He was blindsided in April in New York, and again later that month in Anaheim, where just across town the Dodgers had lost shortstop Corey Seager for the season. He embraced the attention when the Orioles faced the White Sox in Chicago, and didn’t shy away from it Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park.

Asked if the process of addressing it so often and reading about it seemingly on a daily basis was tiring, he instead said it’s “all interesting.”

“These are great experiences that you learn,” Machado said. “I’ll never forget this year, so whatever players I have around me, trades, signings, this is all a year I’m never going to forget. I just go out there and enjoy and control what I can and at the end of the day, just take it for how it is.”

As for when it comes time to actually depart as opposed to just talking about whether that will happen, Machado said, “I don’t want to think about it going forward that much.


Manager Buck Showalter took a similar approach.

“I can’t project my emotions that far away, but I know what they are now,” Showalter said. “We’ve talked about it. Manny and I have talked about it. He knows what’s going on. Good players get talked about this time of year. Not-good players don’t get talked about a lot. I think he understands it. He’s been through it enough, and what it means for us and him and me, all that other stuff? We’ll deal with that if and when it gets here.”